Have you ever seen the movie Green Card or any one of a number of movies or TV shows where two people get married so that one person can get a green card? They answer a series of questions from a no-nonsense government employee to determine whether their relationship is real? They may be asked where they went on their first date, which side of the bed each sleeps on and who takes out the trash most.
You and your spouse love each other, and your marriage is very real. However, you may still be nervous about that all-important marriage green card interview.
Let’s look at the marriage green card process and what the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officers are looking for during the interview. This is the final major step in the marriage green card application process.
Preparing for the interview
The interviewer can ask questions about your history as a couple, your daily life and your future plans. Therefore, the two of you should review things like where and when you met, when you got engaged, where you were married and other milestones. Some people are better at remembering those things than others, but refresh your memories and make sure you don’t remember things very differently.
Besides having the necessary documents to present to the officer, it’s helpful to have pictures of the two of you on dates, at your wedding and on vacations. If the American spouse has traveled to the foreign spouse’s home country, bring photos and travel documents.
Typically, spouses are interviewed separately. The interview questions can be very personal ones. Even if you find them intrusive, answer them. However, if you don’t know, can’t remember or aren’t sure of something, say so. Don’t lie. No spouse can be expected to know everything about their mate.
What’s a Stokes interview?
If your interviews leave the officer(s) uncertain, you will likely need to be interviewed again. These are called Stokes interviews (named for a plaintiff in a court case). Officers from the Fraud Detection and National Security unit (FDNS) of the USCIS will be involved.
An immigration attorney can help ensure that you have all the necessary forms and documents and answer any questions you have about the marriage green card application process, including the interviews. They can help the process go more smoothly and improve your chances of success.