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101 Marriage Green Card Interview Questions and Tips - What to Expect in 2020
Marriage Green Card Interview Process
First, the marriage green card interview process takes place at your local United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) office. You will bring your marriage green card interview notice with you, along with all the other documents requested on the notice.
Next, make sure to plan to get there around 15 minutes early, that way you give yourself enough time to get situated and relax your mind before the green card interview.
Also, most USCIS offices are similarly setup, there is a waiting area, and then when it’s time for your marriage green card interview, the immigration officer will call you into his or her office to start the interview. The officer will then have you both raise your right hand to swear you in for the interview.
Next, the officer may ask the foreign spouse to give his or her fingerprints and take another photo to match everything with the biometrics appointment. Afterwards, the officer will begin the interview.
Important Update: New Guidelines for Green Card Interviews During COVID-19 in 2020
1. Visitors may not enter a USCIS facility if they:
- Have any symptoms of COVID-19, including cough, fever or difficulty breathing;
- Have been in close contact with anyone known or suspected to have COVID-19 in the last 14 days; or
- Have been individually directed to self-quarantine or self-isolate by a health care provider or public health official within the last 14 days.
5. Individuals are encouraged to bring their own black or blue ink pens.
Two Types of Marriage Green Card Interviews
Cordial Style Marriage Green Card Interview
A cordial style interview is usually a friendlier and quicker interview process. Typically, ranging anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
Generally, you’ll both be in the same room at the same time, and each of you will be asked similar green card interview questions including: state your name, your address, and how you met, information about your wedding, employment, etc., then the foreign spouse will be asked some criminal background questions listed on the I-485, and then you’ll both be done.
Interrogation Style Marriage Green Card Interview
However, an interrogation style interview can be more intimidating and stressful. The immigration officer after swearing you both in will then separate you both. One spouse will be invited into the officer’s office and the other spouse will be asked to wait in the waiting room.
Afterwards, the officer will begin the interview. During this type of interview, the green card interview questions can be much more in-depth and the officer is looking for any inconsistencies in you and your spouse’s testimony.
For example, the officer is likely to ask you to name your spouse’s parents and siblings and ask if you have also met any of them. In addition, the officer is likely to ask where did you go together for your last special occasion, holiday, and even what did you do last weekend. Then the officer is also likely to ask you to name who else was in attendance at the above events.
In addition, during this type of interview, the officer is likely to ask that you draw a diagram of your residence including how many bedrooms and bathrooms, location of kitchen and dining room, etc. The officer will then ask what furniture is in each room and what color is each piece of furniture. Again, the officer is looking for any inconsistencies in your testimony with this line of questioning.
As you can see, inconsistent answers in your testimony to one of these green card interview questions can be a cause for the immigration officer to request a second interview also known as a Stokes interview, request more evidence of the validity of your marriage, or to issue a denial.
Please understand that if the officer uses an interrogation style, it does not necessarily mean that there are any red flags with your case. It can simply be that this is the officer’s preferred interviewing style. But in some cases, it does mean that the officer suspects misrepresentation of the facts and or marriage fraud.
This type of interview can be very stressful and intimidating. Therefore, it is best to hire an immigration lawyer to help you prepare for either style of interview, so you can have peace of mind knowing that your fully prepared.
101 Marriage Green Card Interview Questions and Tips
There are two important parts to the marriage green card interview process.
First, you want to make sure to prepare for the marriage green card interview questions.
Second, you want to make sure to bring the proper supporting documents.
When attending the interview make sure to dress well, but do not overdress, answer every question truthfully and honestly and answer only what the officer is asking of you. Bring lots of photos, be positive, and also stay calm and collected.
Here’s a list of 101 marriage green card interview questions and tips, for you to review. Get your FREE marriage green card checklist here.
Revealing 50 Most Popular Marriage Green Card Interview Questions
- What is your name?
- What is your date of birth?
- What is your address?
- What’s your spouse’s full name?
- Has s/he used any other names?
- What’s your phone number?
- How long have you known your spouse?
- When and how did you meet?
- Where did you go on some of your first dates?
- Have you been married before?
- Do you have any children?
- Has your spouse been married before?
- Does s/he have any children?
- How long did you date before proposing to your spouse?
- What is the story of your wedding proposal?
- When did you get married?
- Did you have a wedding ceremony?
- Where did you have your wedding ceremony?
- Who attended your ceremony or reception?
- What food was served at your reception?
- Did you go anywhere for a honeymoon? If so, where did you go?
- Have you met your spouse’s family?
- What is the name of your spouse’s parents?
- Does your spouse have any brothers or sisters?
- What are their names?
- When was your eldest son or daughter born?
- What are your children’s names?
- Where does your spouse work?
- What is your spouse’s job title?
- What tasks does your spouse do at his or her job?
- How much does your spouse earn per year?
Criminal Questions – for foreign spouse
- Have you ever been arrested, cited, charged, or detained for any reason by any law enforcement official?
- Have you ever committed a crime of any kind (even if you were not arrested, cited, charged with, or tried for that crime)?
- Have you ever plead guilty to or been convicted of a crime anywhere in the world?
- Have you ever been affiliated with a Communist group?
- Have you ever been affiliated with a terrorist organization?
- What is daily life like for you and your spouse around the house?
- How do you start your day?
- How often do you text or talk on the phone when you’re apart?
- Which of you likes to cook?
- Which of you likes to clean?
- What did you do to celebrate your last birthday?
- What did you get each other as gifts for your last birthdays?
- What’s the most important holiday of the year in your household and where do you typically celebrate it?
- What did you do for the last holiday?
- Where did you go for the last holiday?
- What did you do last weekend?
- How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you have in your home?
- What side of the bed do you sleep on?
- Please describe the furniture in each room of your home and the color of the furniture.
51 Incredible tips on the marriage green card interview……
- Remain positive and answer all the marriage green card questions truthfully.
- Speak slow, and answer questions in detail.
- Stick to the question and don’t veer off the subject.
- Respond clearly and be as descriptive as possible with dates and places and or persons names.
- It should not take longer than one to two minutes to answer a question, but be sure to explain yourself.
- If you do not know the answer to a question, do not improvise. Say, “I don’t know the answer to that at this time” or “I don’t remember.” It’s okay to not know the answer.
- The answer to many questions will be in petitions and or applications that were filed with USCIS. (See I-130 and I-485).
- Marriage green card interview questions like, “what are your wife’s parent’s names”. They will expect you to know the information given in your petition and or application. Review everything in your paperwork with your husband or wife before your interview and do a mock interview to see how the information may be applied.
- Avoid saying “I think . . .” The examiner will expect you to know the answers and not be unsure of your answers. Always, avoid adding “umm”, “you know” and “ahh” type fillers to your speech.
- When applicable, don’t just state, demonstrate. If the examiner asks a question that can be answered with a document or photograph(s), provide it along with your answer.
- For example, if the examiner asks, “What does your family think of your wife,” give them a picture or two with your answer; “they like her very much, here is a picture of her with my mother at my home.” Or, “how many attended your wedding.” Answer, “(give a number, then say) “here are some of our lovely wedding photos of our guests having fun. We have others that we can show you as well.”
- Give American English answers for dates and times. 12/24/07 not 24/12/07.
- Dress well, but do not overdress. Remember, this is a formal interview before a federal government agency. First impressions do matter.
- Try to appear calm, well organized, and friendly. Nervousness raises
- Remain focused. If the examiner makes jokes, smile and enjoy, but do not make jokes too.
- Make proper eye contact when conversing with the examiner and try to control your own facial expressions assure that your face remains pleasant and cordial.
- Be audible (means speak up) your examiner doesn’t have to ask you to repeat your answers.
- Organize your papers in a way that will allow you to retrieve them easily and Examiners appreciate order and someone who doesn’t waste their time.
- Bring a copy of your I-130 petition and I-485 application to the interview along with your passport and or other government photo identification document.
- Bring your last 3 months joint bank account statements.
- Bring a copy of a recent joint utility bill.
- Bring a copy of a joint phone bill.
- Bring a copy of joint medical insurance cards.
- Bring a copy of your most up-to-date car insurance.
- Bring a copy of any recent beneficiary designations for 401K or life insurance.
- Bring a copy of any recent federal tax return if filed “married filing jointly,” and not submitted with application.
- Bring any other joint documents not previously submitted.
- Bring 10-15 additional recent photographs.
What to Expect After the Marriage Green Card Interview
- The immigration may state that he or she is going to approve your application. The officer may also state that you will receive his or her decision in the mail.
- Generally, decisions are mailed within a few weeks of the interview.
- The physical green card is also generally mailed within a few weeks, if approved.
- You will receive a 10 year green card, if you were married for more than 2 years when you applied for your green card.
- You will receive a 2 year conditional green card, if you were married less than 2 years when you applied for your green card.
- If you received a 10 year green card, you will be eligible to renew your green card 90 days prior to your 10 year anniversary of being granted your green card.
- If you received a 2 year green card, you must file a I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence 90 days prior to your 2 year anniversary of being granted your green card.
- After receiving a 2 year conditional green card or a 10 year green card, you may be eligible to apply for citizenship 3 years after receiving your green card. For those with a 2 year green card, you must file I-751 first.
- If you received a 2 year conditional green card, you’ll want to start to keep a folder with all joint documents that you collect over the next two years.
Benefits of a Green Card through Marriage
- Once you receive your green card, you are now eligible to live, work, and play in the USA permanently.
- You are exempt from the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 which requires buyers to withhold 10% of the purchase price of real property and submit such withholding to the IRS.
- You can own shares in a C or S-corporation.
- You can form a limited liability company in any state.
- You can purchase and own real estate, cars, and other property.
- You can attend any college or university that you are eligible, and you may be able to receive in-state tuition and financial aid.
- You are eligible for Small Business Administration Loans and other bank loans such as home mortgage loans.
- If you work for 10 years in the US, you will be eligible for Social Security Benefits when you are eligible for retirement.
- You can travel outside the US for up to 5 months and 30 days at one-time.
- Any trip that you plan to be outside of the US for more than one year will require a I-131 Advance Parole/Travel Document application. If you are outside the US for more than one year without apply for a I-131 or SB-1 Returning Resident Visa, your green card will be considered abandoned under the law.
- You may be eligible for certain county, state, and federal health benefits.
- You can live anywhere in the US including: all 50 states and any US possession or territory.
- You can work anywhere in the US including: all 50 states and any US possession or territory.
- You may be eligible for citizenship in 3 years, if you obtained your green card through marriage to a US citizen, or you may be eligible for citizenship in 5 years, if obtained another way.
Most frequently asked questions and answers
The marriage green card interview is held at your local U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office and is conducted by an immigration officer.
Generally, marriage green card interviews are between 30 minutes to an hour.
First, you want to prepare for the marriage green card interview questions. Second, you want to make sure to bring all the proper supporting documents. Lastly, when attending your interview make sure to dress well, I’d recommend business casual, answer ever question truthfully and honestly, and answer only what the officer is asking of you. Bring lots of photos, be positive, and also stay calm and collected. Read our article on 101 marriage green card interview questions and tips and what to expect to learn more.
Yes. You and your spouse must attend the interview together, except in very exceptional circumstances, and then you’d need a discretionary waiver.
Generally, if approved, you will receive your green card within 90 days. Also, you will either receive a 2 year conditional green card, if married less then two years when you filed, or a 10 year green card.