We understand the anxiety married couples experience before a Green Card marriage interview.
To help our readers, we’ve compiled the common questions that USCIS officers ask during marriage based Green Card interview.
We have also included the tips on how to better prepare for the USCIS marriage interview.
1. The Green Card Marriage Interview: An Overview
As a part of the Green Card process, all applicants filing as the spouse of a U.S. Citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) need to, along with their spouse, attend a Green Card marriage interview. The purpose of the Green Card marriage interview is to identify sham and/or fraudulent marriage arrangements that are entered into solely for the purpose of obtaining immigration benefits.
During the Green Card marriage interview, the applicant and U.S. Citizen spouse are usually interviewed together but may also be questioned separately. The interview may also be video-taped.
My Case Scenario
Emily, a foreign national, is married to Devon, a U.S. Citizen. They have been married for about 18 months and Emily filed for Adjustment of Status following the marriage. She recently received a letter from USCIS asking her to attend an interview with her husband. Emily and Devon had imagined that the USCIS marriage interview would only be a formality for them as they were genuinely married.
However, they came to know from their friends that the USCIS marriage interview is not always a routine formality, and can be strenuous. They were informed that even couples that have been married for a longer period find the USCIS marriage interview questions difficult to answer. With the interview being scheduled in another 2 weeks, Emily and Devon started to worry as they had not prepared specifically for the interview.
2. The Green Card Marriage Interview – What To Expect?
The marriage based Green Card interview is a major aspect of the inspection process before granting a Green Card through marriage. Since this is a frequently exploited route for gaining immigrant status, USCIS does not make it an effortless process.
Though the marriage may be bona fide, there is every possibility that the interview may become a grueling event if the participants are ill-prepared. Immigration officials may even search the internet or social networking sites such as Facebook to investigate your intentions. If a USCIS officer suspects any fraud they may investigate your place of residence and look closely at photographs you provided to determine if they have been altered. It is incumbent on you to prove that your marriage was not entered into solely to obtain immigration benefits.
3. Sample Marriage Based Green Card Interview Questions
The purpose of the Green Card marriage interview is to enable the interviewing immigration officer to verify that the marriage is bona fide and that it is not a marriage entered into for the sole purpose of securing Green Card.
There is actually no predetermined list of Green Card marriage interview questions that you may be asked. The flow of the interview is generally dependent on the convincing responses provided by you to the questions posed by the officials. Also, the questions are not directed solely at the foreign national spouse.
Listed below are some sample marriage based Green Card interview questions that you may be asked, and some helpful tips to successfully navigate your Green Card marriage interview.
A. Green Card Marriage Interview Questions About Your Courtship Period
- Who introduced you to your spouse?
- How did you first meet?
- When and where did you meet the first time?
- Could you describe the first meeting?
- Where were you living at the time? Where was your spouse living?
- Who was your spouse living with when you met?
- Did you exchange phone numbers and/or email addresses?
- Did you make arrangements to meet again?
- When did you next meet?
- Where did you and your spouse go on your second date?
- What did the two of you have in common?
- What attracted you to your spouse?
- Where did you go for dates?
- When did your relationship turn romantic?
- When did you decide to get married?
- Where were you at the time?
- How long was it before you decided to get married?
- Who proposed to whom?
- Did you give your spouse a ring when you proposed?
- Why did you decide to have a long (or short) engagement?
- Did you live together before marriage?
- Did your parents approve of the match? Why or why not?
Reflect on the history of your relationship. Be prepared to portray your journey from initial meeting to marriage– first date, subsequent meetings, important events, happy moments, sad moments, disagreements, time spent together, events spent with each other’s family and friends, special gifts, proposal, acceptance, sharing the news with family and friends, etc.
B. USCIS Green Card Interview Questions About Your Wedding
- What was the date of your marriage?
- What day of the week did you get married?
- Where was the wedding held?
- Who attended the ceremony?
- How did you and your spouse get to the church, temple, mosque, gurudwara, courthouse, etc.?
- Did you exchange wedding rings? Did you and your spouse purchase them together or separately?
- Is he/she wearing her wedding ring right now?
- Who were the bridesmaids/groomsmen?
- Did each of your parents attend the wedding?
- Did any of your, and your spouses, family members attend? If so, who?
- Who were the witnesses to the ceremony?
- How many people attended your wedding?
- How late did the guests stay at the wedding?
- Did you have a reception after the ceremony?
- Could you please describe the reception?
- Was there music or other entertainment?
- Did the bride change clothes for the reception?
- What kind of cake or other food was served?
- Did you serve liquor? What kind?
- Did anyone get drunk or otherwise embarrass themselves at the reception? Who? Describe.
- What time did you and your spouse leave the reception?
- If you didn’t have a reception, what did you do after the wedding ceremony?
- Could you please show me any photos of the wedding ceremony and/or reception?
- Did you go on a honeymoon? When did you leave? How did you get there? Where did you go? For how long? What airline?
- How many days did you spend on your honeymoon?
- What date did you and your spouse leave for your honeymoon?
- What date did you and your spouse return from your honeymoon?
- Did you get married to get into the U.S.? Did you pay your spouse to get married or make any other deals?
- Why do you think your spouse wants to come to the U.S.? Are you worried that she married you for a green card?
- What are your concerns about being married to someone from another culture?
- Do you think that your relationship will work?
- Do you trust your spouse?
- Where did you live after the wedding?
Be prepared to answer questions about the wedding ceremony, reception, guests, interesting or embarrassing events, if any, that happened during the ceremony or reception, what was served, how guests were entertained, did the wedding ceremony have a theme, who wrote the vows, who purchased the rings – how and where, who paid for the ceremony, honeymoon plans, etc.
C. Marriage Based Green Card Interview Questions About Your Living Conditions
- Describe the place where you lived right after the marriage [Number of bedrooms and bathrooms; furnishings; color of walls, floor covering, appliances, etc; type of air conditioning (window or central), heating (gas or electrical), etc.; number of telephones, TV sets etc.]?
- Where do you live now?
- How long have you been staying at the current address?
- Do you live in a home (single family, condominium, townhouse) or apartment? How much is the mortgage or rent? Who pays it? When is it paid?
If you live in an apartment or condominium:
- What floor do you live on?
- What compass direction does the front door face?
- How many keys do you need to go from the street to the apartment?
- What is your landlord’s name?
- What date did you sign the lease?
- When does the lease expire?
- How many people are living with you and your spouse?
- Who are your neighbors?
- Is your sofa a regular one or does it have a pull-out bed? If the latter, have you ever had guests sleep there?
- What size is your bed (full, queen, king)?
- Do you have a regular mattress, futon or waterbed?
- Do you have lamps next to your bed?
- Where do you keep your clothes? Where does your spouse keep his/her clothes?
- How many closets are in the apartment?
- On what side of the closet does your spouse hang his/her clothes?
- What color are the curtains in your house?
- What type of curtains or window coverings are in your living room? What color?
- Is there a carpet in your front hallway? What color?
- How many staircases are in your house?
- How many cars do you have?
- Do you have a garage? How many cars fit into it? Who parks in it? Do you use a garage door opener? Who keeps the garage door opener in the car?
- What color are the kitchen curtains?
- Do you have a barbecue grill? Do you use it? Is it gas or charcoal?
- Where is the garbage kept in the kitchen?
- What are the garbage pickup days?
- Do you use bottled or a water filtration system? If so, describe it.
- Does your refrigerator make ice or do you use ice trays?
- What type of refrigerator do you have (Top- or Bottom-Freezer, Side-by-Side or French doors)?
- Where do you keep your toothbrushes?
- Where are the bathroom towels kept?
- Where do you keep dirty clothes?
- How many sinks, toilets, and showers are there in your house/apartment in total?
- Do you have a bathtub or a shower?
- Do you have a shower curtain or shower door?
- Do you have washer and/or dryer?
- Do you line dry? Where is the clothesline located?
- How many remote controls are there in your house?
- How many TV sets are in your house? In which rooms?
- Do you have cable TV or satellite?
- Who is the cable/dish provider?
- Do you have DVR? What shows does your spouse like to record?
- Do you have a camera? Who uses the camera most often?
- Who takes pictures at important family occasions or during sightseeing?
- How many telephones are in your house? Where are they?
- Do you have a family plan on your cell phones? Who is the provider?
- What is your spouse’s phone number?
- Does your phone have an answering machine? Who checks the messages?
- Do you have a DVD player? What brand?
- Where do you work?
- What days of the week do you work? What hours do you work?
- What is your annual salary?
- What’s your spouse’s educational background?
- If your spouse has a college degree, when and where did he/she acquire it?
- Where does your spouse work?
- What is your spouse’s position at the job?
- What are your spouse’s working hours?
- What days of the week does your spouse work?
- What is your phone number at work?
- What is your spouse’s phone number at work?
- Do you know your spouse’s salary? If yes, how much is it?
- When is your spouse paid?
- Who takes care of paying the bills?
- Do you write checks for paying the bills or do you pay bills online?
- Did you file a joint tax return this year? Can I see a copy of it?
- Do you jointly own any property? If yes, can I see the copies of the documents?
- Do you have an insurance policy listing your spouse as the beneficiary? If yes, can I see copy of the same?
- Do you have any utility bills where both of you are listed together?
- Do you have receipts from items you have purchased together?
- Do you have any joint bank accounts? Where? What kind of accounts (checking, savings, money market etc.)?
- Are both of you listed on the account? As proof, do you have a bank letter or cancelled checks?
- Does our spouse have bank accounts without you? If yes, what is the name of the bank?
Be prepared to answer questions relating to any present and past residences where you have lived together, including information about furnishings and appliances, the size and number of rooms, automobiles you have or had, neighbors, and visitors.
The Officer may even ask you to sketch a particular room or portion of the residence or you both may be asked to show your house keys and tell what keys go to each door. The officer will expect to see both spouses to have the same number of corresponding keys for the primary residence.
Also be prepared to answer questions about your spouse’s job, work schedule and working conditions, earnings, and how he or she travels to work. Be prepared to discuss your joint-spending, investments, tax filings, joint bank accounts, financial dealings, and mortgages, etc.
If the interviewing officer suspects that the marriage is not bona fide, expect more detailed questions. You could even be separated to answer the same set of questions separately.
E. Green Card Marriage Interview Questions About Your Lifestyle And Habits.
- Do you set up the alarm clock to get up in the morning?
- Who gets up first? At what time?
- Who does most of the cooking?
- Who usually makes breakfast?
- What does your spouse drink in the morning? (Such as coffee, tea, milk, etc.) If so, does he/she use cream and/or sugar?
- What do each of you usually eat for breakfast?
- Who goes grocery shopping? Where? How often? How do you get there?
- What kind of toothpaste/soap/ shampoo do each of you use?
- Does your spouse use a regular toothbrush or an electric one?
- Do you have any pets? Which ones (such as dog, cat, fish, etc.)? Who feeds it? Who walks it or cleans its cage, kitty litter box, etc.?
- Is your spouse taking medication? What are the names of the medication? What condition require that medication?
- What are your working hours?
- What time do you or your spouse arrive home (whoever is working)?
- How does your spouse get home from work?
- How often and what time do you call each other by phone?
- When was the last day both of you spent the entire day together? Describe in detailed chronological order what both of you did that day.
- What is a typical weekend for you and your spouse?
- What are your favorite foods and who cooks what?
- What is your spouse’s most (or least) favorite food?
- Is there a particular food that you eat every week? What is it?
- How many times a week on average do you eat out?
- What is your special restaurant?
- What is your spouse’s favorite sport?
- What is your spouse’s favorite team?
- Have you ever been to a game with your spouse? If yes, when did you attend?
- Does your spouse drink?
- What is your spouse’s favorite beer?
- What is your spouse’s favorite cigarette?
- What is your spouse’s favorite color?
- What is your spouse’s favorite movie?
- Does your spouse listen to the radio? What station?
- Does your spouse listen to music? What kind of media player does he/she use (phone, iPod, etc.)?
- Do you watch TV shows together, or separately?
- Name one TV show that you always watch together.
- What religious holidays do you celebrate together?
- Do you and/or your spouse attend regular religious services? Where?
- What is the most important holiday of the year in your household? Where do you typically celebrate it?
- What did you do for New Year’s/your wedding anniversary/your birthday? Did you exchange gifts? If so, what kind of gift?
- What did you do for your spouse’s last birthday?
- What did you give each other for your last birthdays?
- Have you and your spouse gone to see a movie (or any other form of entertainment) lately? When and what did you see?
- When was your last vacation? Did you and your spouse go anywhere together at that time?
- Do you have the photos from your last vacation together?
- What do you like best about the other? The least about each other?
- When was your last argument – time, day, place, subject? Who started the argument? How was it resolved?
- What time do you and your spouse go to bed in the evening?
- Which side of the bed do each of you sleep on?
- Do either of you read or watch television before going to sleep?
- Do you leave any lights on when you go to sleep at night?
- Does your spouse snore?
- Do you and/or your spouse have any scars or tattoos? If yes, where on the body?
Be prepared to answer questions about each other’s general habits, lifestyle, preferences, daily routines, schedules, household chores, favorite pastimes – individual and together, holidays spent together, specific rituals that you follow, shopping habits, food habits, sleeping habits, religious routines, etc.
F. USCIS Marriage Interview Questions About Your Spouse And Their Family And Relatives
- What is your spouse’s full name?
- What is your spouse’s date of birth?
- What is the city and country of your spouse’s birth?
- What is your spouse’s religion?
- Has your spouse ever been convicted or have a criminal record?
- Have you ever been convicted of a crime?
- What is the immigration status of your spouse in the U.S. (Citizen or LPR)? If your spouse was not born in the U.S., where was he/she born? When and where was his or her naturalization?
- Do you speak your spouse’s language?
- What language do the two of you converse in?
- Where all places has your spouse lived before?
- Was your spouse ever hospitalized?
- How many children do you have? How about your spouse?
- What are the names, birth dates and birth places (hospital name, city) of each child?
- What is the name of your child’s best friend?
- Who prepares and packs the lunch for your children?
- What is your usual babysitter’s name?
- Does your child attend day care? What days and times does your child attend day care?
- What is the name of your child’s teacher?
- Who picks up the children at school?
- What are their least favorite foods?
- Which children (if any) still use a car seat?
- What are the favorite toys/activities of your children?
- How many times has your spouse been married?
- How did your spouse’s previous marriages end? (Divorce, annulled, etc.)
- Why was your spouse’s previous marriages terminated?
- Who initiated the divorce?
- Where did the divorce take place?
- Are there any outstanding issues related to the divorce? If yes, describe in detail.
- If your spouse pays alimony how much are the alimony payments?
- Does your spouse still see his/her ex-spouse? Why or why not?
- If your spouse has children from a previous marriage, what are their names and ages, where do they live, and where do they go to school?
- How often do you communicate with them? What are the visitation arrangements with the non-custodial parent? Did the children see him/her this weekend/when?
- Does your spouse have full custody of his/her children? Does he/she pay child support?
- Is he/she current on his child support payment?
- Do you know your spouse’s family members? Which ones?
- What is your spouse’s parent’s name?
- Where were your spouse’s parents born?
- Where do your spouse’s parents live?
- Have you met each other’s parents?
- How often do you speak with or see your spouse’s parents?
- How do each of you get along with your parents-in-law?
- When did you see them last time? For how long? Where?
- How many brothers and sisters does your spouse have?
- Name each brother and sister and their place of residence.
- Are they married?
- Did they get married before you got married to your husband/wife?
- How many children do your spouse’s brother and sisters have, if any?
- Do you buy gifts for your in-laws on important holidays? Do they buy gifts for you?
- Which other members of your spouse’s family do you see frequently? When was the last time you saw them? What did you do together?
- Do you know your spouse’s friends? Provide the names, if possible phone numbers. How long have they known each other? Where do they live? Do they know about your spouse’s previous relationships?
Be prepared to answers questions about each other’s relatives, friends, family, work place, family gatherings, festival celebrations, family holidays, anniversaries, dates and events of importance, etc.
Be prepared to answer questions about your children, your spouse’s children from previous marriage(s), parents, siblings, and other close relatives, if any.
G. USCIS Marriage Interview Questions In Relation To Your Green Card Interview Day
- Did you or your spouse go to work yesterday/today?
- If so, at what time did you and/or spouse leave the house and return?
- Did you eat dinner together last night? What did you have?
- Did anyone else have dinner with you last night?
- Who cooked the dinner last night? What time was dinner served?
- Did you watch TV after dinner? What shows did you watch?
- Who went to bed first?
- At what time did you go to bed?
- Who woke up first this morning? Did an alarm clock go off?
- Did you have breakfast? Where and what did you eat?
- Did you come to the interview together?
- Did you use mass transit or drive?
- Where have you parked your car?
- What other documentation do you have to prove that you are living together as a married couple?
Be prepared to answer questions about how you got to the interview venue, how your day had progressed so far, what happened in the immediately preceding days, plans for the rest of day, immediate future plans etc.
My Case Scenario
Following the advice of an immigration lawyer, Emily and Devon started preparing for their USCIS marriage interview. They arrived at the immigration office half-hour early on the interview date and brought all relevant documents with them. Their preparation helped them answer all the USCIS marriage interview questions confidently and convincingly. Emily was able to obtain her Green Card without hassles.
The marriage interview is a critical step in the Green Card process and should be taken very seriously. The Green Card marriage interview questions are designed to determine how well you know your spouse and that you have a bona fide marriage.
It is wise that you and your spouse prepare thoroughly for the marriage based Green Card interview to limit the stress and anxiety generally associated with a Green Card marriage interview.
If you are unsure what to expect during your Green Card marriage interview, or have a complex Green Card scenario, Schedule A Consultation With Immigration Lawyer Today >>. Our experienced immigration lawyers will be happy to assist you.
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