One of the fastest and easiest routes for an alien to become a U.S. citizen is to marry a U.S. citizen. However, the government realizes that there are many people who marry for the immigration benefit instead of marrying for love, and the government looks to weed out those applicants who are not genuine and sincere in their efforts. For this reason, an immigration marriage interview is part of the process for those looking for a green card via the marriage route.
Purpose of Immigration Marriage Interview
Immigration interviews aren’t limited to just married couples; the U.S. government interviews many single people with green card applications. The purpose of the interview is the check out any paperwork the applicant has filed against what the applicant says in purpose and to examine the original documents against the copies filed with the application. In the case of married couples, the interview also serves to ensure that the marriage and the relationship is a genuine relationship.
What Happens During the Interview?
During the marriage interview, the immigration officer reviews standard paperwork to confirm who you are, what you do for a living, and if the couple has the financial footing to provide for themselves without relying on the government for help. The officer will look to establish that the parties are in a serious relationship. Documentation to support your claim may include:
- Birth certificates of shared children
- Plane tickets and phone bills that establish you communicate and visit with one another regularly
- Photos of you together on vacations or attending family events
- Shared financial or credit card documents, contracts or insurance policies
- Statements from others who know you and know about your relationship
The immigration officer conducting the interviewer may ask you some questions to determine if the marriage is genuine. For example, the interviewer may ask details about how you met your spouse, the color of the carpet in your spouse’s bedroom, or what did you do with your spouse over a previous holiday. If your marriage is real, then you and your spouse should be able to answer questions like these with no problem.
If the immigration interviewer suspects that your marriage is not legitimate, a fraud interview may be conducted. This interview requires separate interviews by both spouses, with each spouse asked the same questions. If it appears that you know little about each other or come up with contradictory information, then the green card application is likely denied.
Where is the Interview Held?
Most immigration interviews are held in the embassy or consulate in the country in which the immigrant lives. This is known as consular processing. The U.S. spouse does not have to be present, although it is generally a good idea for both the husband and wife to be present. However, if the U.S. spouse does not attend, and the interviewer suspects that the marriage is just an arrangement to achieve green card status, then the U.S. spouse may be required to be interviewed by authorities in the United States. In the case of green card applicants living in the U.S. already, the procedure is known as an adjustment of status, and the interview is conducted by USCIS at a local office.
Familia America Immigration is well-versed in immigration law and has helped thousands of people obtain legal citizenship status. Discuss your situation with a Salt Lake City immigration lawyer Gloria Cardenas and her staff to determine the best course of action in your particular situation.