June 2, 2015 Douglas Lightman

Green Card Marriage – Topics Covered At Interviews

The Green Card Marriage Interview

If this particular article has piqued your interest you are probably researching the marriage green card process and the various steps involved.

Or, perhaps, you are far along on the process and are about to embark on the highly anticipated “adjustment of status” interview in connection with the marriage green card. This particular article focuses on common topics focused on by USCIS Officers at marriage green card interviews.

As a brief intro, the marriage green card process is the process by which a foreign individual may apply for a green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen.

Many foreign individuals qualify for this route of obtaining a green card, even if they are out of status or have previous status violations. Of course, the marriage between the foreign individual and the U.S. individual needs to be a real marriage and not a marriage entered into solely for the purpose of obtaining a green card. This is the main focus of the USCIS interview as part of the application process.

The first few stages of the marriage green card process are comprised conducting a detailed legal analysis of the case, collecting required supporting materials, and completing and filing numerous forms and documents required for the process. The stages thereafter are largely comprised of waiting for receipts/notices, providing biometrics, and following instructions or requests for information from USCIS.

The last part of the process is the highly anticipated interview process where the foreign national and his/her spouse must present themselves before a USCIS Officer at a local USCIS office to discuss the veracity of their marriage.

A very important part of the interview as part of the green card through marriage process is to confirm that the marriage is real and not one entered into for the purpose of obtaining a green card. The USCIS Officer also has to confirm that aside from the marriage that the applicant is “admissible”, meaning that he/she is eligible for a green card assuming the marriage is legitimate.

The topics listed below are examples of what USCIS typically focus on at marriage green card interviews:

  • Dating history of the relationship: Details of when the couple started dating. Examples of some dates. What does the couple do for fun on dates?
  • Family knowledge: Questions related to each spouse’s knowledge of the other spouse’s family members and whether they have ever met or been in contact with the family members.
  • Timeline of events: Questions related to when events occurred during the relationship. When and how did the couple first meet? When was their first date? When did they decide to get married?
  • Wedding Ceremony: Was there a wedding ceremony or reception? Did the couple celebrate in anyway? If so, what did they do? Who was involved?
  • Residential information: Does the couple live together and how long have they been living together? What sort of evidence can be provided to show the couple resides together?
  • Review of photos: The Officer will most likely review photos brought to the interview and ask questions specifically related to the photos. Be prepared to allow the Officer to keep several photos.
  • Questions from the application: The Officer will ask various questions from information provided in the application. Such questions may involve prior employment, schooling, residential information, and family matters.
  • Financial questions: Questions regarding transactions from any financial statements brought to the interview (these may have been brought to show joint accounts). Questions regarding how the couple treats their finances.

The above list is not exhaustive, and is only meant to provide a general overview of some of the common topics focused on during an interview.

The most important thing regarding this process is that the marriage was entered into lawfully and is a bona fide marriage. At the interview itself, both spouses should be prepared to fully participate in the process.

The best advice is to be truthful at all times and be respectful to the Officer.

The marriage green card process, including the adjustment of status interview, is a complicated process and should not be undertaken without adequate legal counsel. Not only can legal counsel assist in the beginning stages prior to and during submission of all application materials, but counsel can also properly prepare a couple for the interview and attend the interview with the couple.

For more information regarding the green card through marriage interview, please see the following: Green Card Interview.

To learn about the infamous “Stokes Interview”, please see the following: Stokes Interview.

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Douglas Lightman

The award-winning Lightman Law Firm was founded by Douglas M. Lightman, Esq. Mr. Lightman has extensive experience in immigration law and international matters through both work and personal experience.Prior to forming Lightman Law Firm, Mr. Lightman spent several years at an international tax consulting and compliance firm where he focused on international tax consulting and cross border transactions. Mr. Lightman is a United States trained lawyer who received his law degree from Brooklyn Law School and is a member in good standing of the Bar of the State of New York and a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the world's largest organization of immigration lawyers.To discuss your possible case with Mr. Lightman or another immigration lawyer from Lightman Law Firm LLC, call (212) 643-0985 or fill out the consultation request form on your right. A representative of our firm will contact you shortly upon review of your request.