Preparing For an Interview in a Marriage-Based I-130 Green Card Application
One of the most common ways for persons to apply for a green card (permanent residency status) in the U.S. is through marriage to an American citizen. The U.S. government does seek to provide green cards to those who are lawfully married to U.S. citizens, and a valid marriage is a prerequisite to obtaining the green card, but immigration authorities may take extra steps to ensure that the marriage is not a sham marriage intended only for the purpose of getting the green card.
Thus, a frequent component of the green card application process for marriage-based applicants is to sit for an interview with immigration authorities after filing the Form I-130 petition, which will be filed by the U.S. citizen who has married the green card applicant. In addition to wanting to see proof of the marriage (e.g. a government-issued marriage certificate) and proof that any previous marriages have been dissolved (e.g. a divorce decree), the immigration official may ask questions of both the applicant and his or her spouse, either together or separately (or both).
What Immigration Authorities Are Looking For in Marriage Interviews
Every marriage relationship is different, of course, but what the immigration officials will be looking for is some evidence that both the applicant and the spouse truly intend to share a life together and are not colluding to commit fraud via the immigration system.
Thus, there is not one specific type of relationship authorities are looking for, and no objectively “right answers” to the questions asked of the couple. After all, some couples may have known each other and lived together for years, while others may have only recently met, but the important components authorities are looking for is a sincere and honest marriage.
Types of Questions You Might Encounter in an Immigration Marriage Interview
To that end, authorities are looking more for consistency and believability in the answers posed than in any specific responses. Because you and your spouse may be interviewed separately or at least both asked questions about your marriage, it will be important for both to be on the same page about both their past and present together.
Typical questions you might encounter in the interview could include:
- Where did the two of you meet? What happened exactly?
- What experiences did you share while you were getting to know each other?
- Who proposed the marriage, and how did it happen?
- What was your wedding and reception like?
- What are the names of each other’s family members, and have you ever met them?
- What can you tell me about your spouse’s job and past jobs?
- What is your home like?
- What nicknames do you have for each other?
You can be asked many dozens of questions during your interview. Even couples that have been together for many years do not necessarily know everything about each other’s lives, so you do not have to be 100% accurate, but you should aim to do the best you can.
Speak to an experienced immigration attorney for guidance on all aspects of the green card process.
Contact the Los Angeles Immigration Attorneys at Gastelum Law
At the Law Offices of Omar Gastelum and Associates, PLC, our attorneys have experience in all aspects of immigration, including obtaining visas, green cards, citizenship, and in avoiding deportation. With offices in Los Angeles and Newport Beach, we have the ability to work with clients from all backgrounds, and our professionals speak English, Spanish, Korean, Arabic, and Farsi. Contact the Law Offices of Omar Gastelum and Associates, PLC today to discuss your immigration matter.