Marriage interviews are a requirement for anyone trying to get a green card and citizenship based on their marriage to a U.S. citizen. In a marriage interview, someone from United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) will ask a series of questions about your relationship designed to see whether your marriage is real or was entered into with the intent of avoid immigration law.
USCIS does these interviews to figure out if your marriage is real or just a scam to gain citizenship. While most people marry for legally acceptable reasons, like wanting to raise a family together, USCIS knows that some people marry solely for the benefit of having a relatively easier pathway to citizenship. If USCIS concludes that your marriage is a fraud, you may face deportation.
The Boston immigration attorneys at the Law Offices of Jacob D. Geller can prepare you for your marriage interview and can attend the interview to relieve some of the pressure off you. Please contact us at 781-462-1346 or online if you have any questions about marriage interviews. In the meantime, read on for some more advice about this process.
1. Gather Evidence of Your Marriage
You’ll want to bring evidence of your relationship to the marriage interview (in addition to any evidence you already submitted with your application). This can include:
- Pictures of you and your spouse together
- Emails you wrote each other
- Records from joint bank accounts
- Bills with both your names on them
- Tax returns
- Photo IDs showing your shared last name
- Apartment lease or mortgage showing you both live at the same place
- Anything else showing that your lives are somehow intertwined
2. Think About the Questions You’ll Have to Answer
The interviewer might ask just a few basic questions if he’s confident that your marriage is real. Some, if not all, USCIS field offices have started making separate interviews the standard, bringing in the US citizen spouse first, and then bringing the immigrant spouse in after to see if they give the same answers to similar questions. The questions can get more aggressive if the officer suspects fraud.
It’s impossible to know in advance exactly which questions you’ll have to answer because USCIS doesn’t release an official list of inquiries (and, in my experience, although there may be some consistencies in the interviews, the questions outside the basics tend to vary widely). But below are some examples of the types of questions you might see in your marriage interview:
- When did you meet? How did you meet?
- What did you do on your first date?
- How long did it take for you to get engaged? How did the proposal occur?
- When did you get married? Where did you get married?
- How many people attended your wedding?
- What kind of cake did you have at the wedding?
- Where did you go on your honeymoon?
- How long was your honeymoon?
- How much is your rent or mortgage?
- What is the interior of your home like?
- How many rooms does it have?
- What side of the bed do you sleep on?
- When does your spouse get up in the morning?
- When do each go to work?
- When do you each get home from work?
- Where do you each work?
- What are your bed times?
3. Make a Good Impression
Always try to make a good impression on the USCIS agent in your marriage interview:
- Arrive on time
- Dress appropriately
- Be polite and friendly
- Have all your documents ready
- Speak clearly and confidently when answering questions.