Preparing for your green card marriage interview

When you apply for a green card after marriage to a U.S. citizen, you will have to clear several procedural hurdles. If you are already in the U.S., your spouse will need to submit a relative petition, along with your application for adjustment of status and supporting evidence.

Once USCIC processes your documents, they should schedule you for an interview. Thoughtful preparation for this meeting can help you avoid tripping up due to nervousness or forgetfulness. The outcome of this interview can have a serious impact on your future, so you may want to seek legal assistance if you have not done so already.

What to bring

You should attend the interview with your spouse. In addition to bringing the documents listed in your interview notice, it is prudent to bring a copy of your application and supporting documents. While the officer should have these materials to hand, sometimes parts of files may go astray or not be immediately available. The process can go faster if you can give the interviewer any missing pieces right there, so you do not have to mail them in later.

You may also want to bring additional evidence which you did not include with your application. Typical submissions may include photos of you and your spouse during various stages of your relationship and together with friends and relatives, letters or e-mails you exchanges as your relationship developed, statements from joint accounts, joint ownership or lease documents and more.

What to expect

Interviews can vary greatly in length and intensity. Sometimes, the officer may speak with you and your spouse separately. Interviewers look for any indication that the marriage may not be genuine. They may question you about a wide range of topics, including the history of your relationship and details of your daily lives. You can also expect questions about photos and documentation you submit. You should assume officers have reviewed your social media accounts and may ask you about your postings.

Green card marriage interviews can be difficult. Many people feel very nervous at the prospect. However, thorough preparation can help you handle this process with greater confidence.