7 Helpful Tips for a Marriage-Based Green Card Interview

Posted on 04/14/23

Marriage-Based Green Card Interview

The final step of the marriage green card process is the marriage-based green card interview. It will be scheduled by the National Visa Center (NVC) if the non-resident spouse lives abroad. If the individual obtaining the green card came to the U.S. on a visa and married a U.S. citizen after 90 days, he or she may be eligible to file for adjustment of status to a lawful permanent resident without leaving the country.

1. Update ID and Social Media

Clients often forget about small details like these, but they are important. Make sure your social media profiles reflect your married status and feature pictures of you both. You should also update your state ID and driver’s license to ensure your current address is the same as your spouse’s.

2. Practice Answering Common Interview Questions

The goal of a marriage-based green card interview is to determine whether your relationship is authentic, so expect questions about your history, daily activities, and future plans as a couple.

Your attorney will provide you with a list of frequently asked questions. If you’re anxious, they can set up a prep session so you can practice together. Common questions include:

  • How did you meet?
  • How long did you date before getting married?
  • What food was served at the wedding?
  • Where did you go for your honeymoon?
  • How does your spouse start their day?
  • Which side of the bed do you sleep on?
  • Does your spouse take any medications?

3. Dress Appropriately

Wear conservative business attire. Stay away from jeans, T-shirts, prints, bright colors, and revealing clothing.

4. Arrive Early

Green card marriage interviews take place in government buildings, so you are likely to wait in line and go through a metal detector and security check. This wait alone can easily take up to 30 minutes, so it is a good idea to arrive an hour prior to your interview appointment.

5. Bring All Your Documents

Your immigration lawyer will let you know exactly what paperwork to bring. The document stack usually includes:

  • The interview letter
  • Birth certificates
  • State IDs, driver’s licenses, or passports
  • Marriage certificate
  • Proof of termination of prior marriages
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residence of the petitioning spouse
  • Current and expired U.S. visa(s)
  • Medical examination documents
  • Joint lease agreement (if applicable)
  • Joint income tax returns
  • Joint bank accounts, insurance policies, credit cards, and utility bills
  • Military records
  • Immigration violation records
  • Arrest or conviction records
  • Wedding photos

6. Be Honest

Never lie during a marriage-based green card interview. Relax and answer the questions as truthfully and thoroughly as you can. Take your time with each marriage interview question — it’s perfectly fine to pause for a few seconds to collect your thoughts before answering.

Remember, the goal isn’t to portray a picture-perfect marriage. Interviewers don’t expect your relationship to be perfect. The interviewers are looking for proof that you are truly married.

7. Hire a Lawyer

There are benefits to consulting with an immigration attorney before submitting your green card application to the USCIS. You may have your attorney present for the interview. It’s especially important to have legal representation if:

  • You or your spouse have been denied an immigration benefit or a visa to the U.S.
  • One or both of you have been married before.
  • There is a large age gap between you and your spouse.
  • You or your spouse have a child through a previous relationship.
  • One or both of you have been arrested or convicted of a crime.
  • You don’t live with your spouse full-time.  

Consult With an Experienced Connecticut Immigration Attorney

At the Law Offices of James A. Welcome, we have over 18 years of experience helping married couples settle in the U.S. If you have questions about your marriage-based green card interview, call 203-753-7300 to schedule a consultation.