Marriage-Based Green Card Interview Questions and Procedure
Love knows no boundaries. That is why it is common for U.S. citizens to start a relationship with an individual who does not have permanent residence in the U.S. If you want to continue your relationship and live together, the immigrant spouse needs to obtain a marriage-based green card.
Undoubtedly, one of the most stressful parts of acquiring this type of green card is the interview. Below, we will look into the application process and the most common marriage-based green card interview questions you or your partner should expect.
What Is a Marriage-Based Green Card?
A marriage-based green card grants an immigrant spouse the right to permanently reside in the U.S., which means they can legally live, work, and study in the country. This type of green card has special immigration priority and offers additional benefits, such as the ability to:
- Obtain a driver’s license
- Travel in and out of the U.S. (each trip must be less than a year)
- Apply for social security
The duration of marriage-based green cards is ten years, and the immigrant spouse should carry it with them at all times.
Common Marriage-Based Green Card Interview Questions
The interview process essentially begins the moment you walk into the USCIS office. Officers will look at both partners’ demeanor as a couple and individually from the moment they walk into the building until they leave. The interview usually lasts for about 15 to 20 minutes, and there are questions for the immigrant spouse to answer individually, and questions for the couple as a whole.
Generally speaking, there are several categories of marriage-based green card interview questions that you should expect.
Questions About How You Met
The main goal of this category is to let the interviewer know how your relationship started and progressed before you got married. It is crucial to show that you and your partner built a strong relationship and fell in love before tying the knot.
- How did you meet?
- Where was your first date?
- Who proposed to whom?
- How long did it take before you decided to get married?
- Why did you have such a long/short engagement?
Questions About the Wedding
Every couple’s wedding is a magical milestone in their relationship. The interviewer would want to know how that special day went down for you. The more details you can recall, the better.
- Where did the wedding ceremony take place?
- How many people attended your wedding?
- Who were the groomsmen/bridesmaids?
- Did each of your parents attend the ceremony?
- Where was your honeymoon?
Questions About the Relationship
Another key element of the marriage-based green card interview are questions about your relationship. These usually relate to somewhat intimate topics that most married couples discuss at least at some point at the beginning of their marriage.
- When is your spouse’s birthday?
- When is your anniversary date?
- Who takes care of the finances in your relationship?
- Are you planning on having children?
- Do you attend church?
- Do you have children from previous marriages/relationships?
- Do you live together or do you plan on living together?
Questions About Your Friends and Family
These intend to help the interviewer understand how well you know each other’s friends and family and your relationship with them.
- Have you met each other’s families?
- Do you see each other’s families often?
- How do you usually celebrate holidays (e.g. Thanksgiving, Christmas)?
- How many brothers and sisters does your partner have? What are their names?
- Do you have mutual friends?
- What is the name of your spouse’s best friend?
- Does your spouse have any nieces and nephews?
Education and Employment Questions
Getting married to someone means that you are well aware of each other’s lives, including your education and employment history. The interview will naturally include questions about it.
- Where did your spouse go to school?
- Did your partner go to college? If they did, what was their major?
- Where does your spouse work? What is their position?
- How long has he/she been working there?
- What was your spouse’s previous employer?
You should also expect questions about your sex life, daily routine, how you raise your kids (if you have any), who does the cooking, and what your hobbies are, among other things.
As you can see, the marriage-based green card interview questions are nothing to be scared of. They are simple, and their goal is to help you understand the nature of your relationship. It is normal and understandable for you to be nervous during the interview. Make sure to refresh your memory if you feel like you may have forgotten some details that would likely come up during the interview.
How to Obtain a Marriage-Based Green Card
To apply for a marriage-based green card, you need to prepare a list of items, including:
- Petition for Alien Relative (USCIS Form I-130)
- Biographic Information (USCIS Form G-325A)
- Application to Register Permanent Residence (USCIS Form I-485)
- Medical Examination Results (USCIS Form I-693)
- Affidavit of Support (USCIS Form I-864)
- Request for Travel Documents (Optional) (USCIS Form I-131)
- Permission for Work Authorization (Optional) (USCIS Form I-765)
- The necessary supporting documents
If you are a U.S. citizen through lawful admission/parole, you need to File Form I-130 and Form I-485.
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