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Preparing for the Marriage Based Green Card Interview

November 29th, 2009 by Romona Paden

If you are applying for your green card based on marriage to a US citizen, you will be required to appear for an interview at your local USCIS office or at a US consulate before your green card application can be approved.

You can prepare yourself for the Marriage Based Based Green Card interview with the proper study materials!

Prepare in advance for the green card marriage interview by reviewing your copy of the green card application. The officer may ask you to verify that the information contained in your application is still correct, so note if any information in your application has changed since the time it was filed.

Make sure to arrive on time for your green card marriage interview. If you have never been to the USCIS office or consulate, make sure you know how to get there. You may have to wait in line to pass security clearance, so plan to arrive early to allow you plenty of time to enter the building. You will not be allowed to enter a USCIS local office with a cell phone containing a built-in camera or recording device, so leave these behind. Dress neatly and conservatively. It’s not necessary to wear a suit, but it always helps to show that you take the green card marriage interview seriously.

You should prepare all supporting documentation that the government officer might request and take these documents with you to the green card marriage interview. It’s a good idea to make copies of important documents as well as bring the originals. This way the officer can inspect the original document if necessary and keep the copy to add to your government file. If you store your documents in an organized fashion, you can easily find what you need if the government officer requests a specific document. This will make the green card marriage interview go more smoothly and you will not be stressed out while trying to locate important documents.

You should bring the following documents with you to the green card marriage interview:

Proof of your good-faith marriage to your spouse

The officer will want to be convinced that you did not marry solely to receive an immigration benefit. Therefore, you should bring documentation of your life together with your spouse. This documentation could include:

- Documentation of your wedding, such as the wedding invitation, engagement
announcement, and photographs

- Photographs of you and your spouse together at vacations or gatherings with friends
and family

- Birth certificates and photographs of any children you have with your spouse

- Any documents issued in both of your names

Utility bills
Mortgage or lease on an apartment or house
Car title or lease
Bank account statements
Tax returns filed as a married couple

The documentation you can use to prove the validity of your marriage is not limited to this list – feel free to bring whatever evidence you have that might convince the officer that you are married to and living with your spouse.

Updated financial information

- Copies of your joint tax returns for the last three (3) years.

- Proof of your current employment.  This could be a letter from your employer stating that
you are currently employed and stating your salary. Or you could bring a few of your
most recent pay stubs.

The officer will want to see that you and your spouse have enough income to sustain yourselves at 125% of the federal poverty level.

The officer will ask questions about your life with your spouse. He or she will want to know details about your daily life together, such as where you live, what kind of cars you have, what your schedules are like, and other facts that you would not know about your spouse unless you had an ongoing relationship. Answer these questions as well as you can. If you do not know the answer to a question, tell the officer that you don’t know rather than make up an answer. Lying to an officer is a criminal act and has serious consequences.

With some preparation, the green card marriage interview should be relatively smooth. If you and your spouse have a good faith marriage, it shouldn’t be too difficult for you to gather the required proof.  Spend the time to prepare and gather the proof beforehand so that your green card can be approved as quickly as possible.

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