If you or your spouse/fiance are applying for a green card in the United States, you will undoubtedly participate in the green card interview. This famously strict and regimented process is where a USCIS consular officer asks the newly-wed, or soon to be wed, couple a series of questions. This is something you will need to be prepared for in several ways, not just in the consistency of your answers but ensuring you are providing all the requested documentation. By arming yourself with knowledge and learning as much as you can about the process, you will become more comfortable with the fact that the USCIS is going to dig deep during this question and answer session.
A big part of understanding the green card interview is having a glimpse of the types of questions you will be asked. Of course there is no set number of questions or any specific questions that can be studied. Mostly it will be based off of each individual circumstance with the focus on your relationship and living situation. These will get personal so rule number one is keep an open mind. Some of the question categories may consist of the following:
1. The plans you and your spouse or fiance have for the future
2. Detailed questions regarding the veracity of undergoing the green card process
3. You interests, hobbies or pastimes that you enjoy
4. How you met your spouse or fiance
5. Your work history and current work situation
6. Just about any question pertaining to your life and your relationship
The USCIS consular officer’s main goal is understanding your relationship and working to ensure the marriage is valid. The questions they ask may not seem to have any rhyme or reason, but it is an effort to ensure there are consistent answers from both partners. These questions will get very detailed regarding your personal relationship. Remember that the green card interview questions are in place to ensure no one is abusing the system. Simple inconsistencies or dishonesty are what the consular officer is trying to uncover during your interview.
If you or your spouse answer questions posed during the green card interview in a contradictory way, the consular officer may become concerned and may ask even more pointed questions. It is critical to answer every question as honestly and openly as possible; being deceptive can backfire in a really big way. When you apply for a green card, you are making a promise that the marriage you’ve entered it to has been done in good faith. The INS works to protect its interests – and the interests of the United States government – by weeding out situations where a marriage has been entered in to strictly for the purpose of getting a green card.
Not only do you want to ensure you are answering all questions honestly and openly, you want to be prepared with all the right documentation. Part of the green card interview questions may be focused on asking for specific documents. You should have received a request for documentation when your interview was arranged. These documents are critical to bring with you on the day of the interview. Please be sure to review this list as often as you can and certainly prior to your interview that day. Failing to provide just one of these requested documents can cause major delays in your application for a green card and may even place your chances of getting a green card in question.
Of course, each individual is different from the next, but there is a general list of the types of documents you may be requested to bring with you on your interview day. It is always a good idea to be thorough and check with your local office as well. This way you can be sure one, you understand what you need to bring and two you double check your appointment date and time. The common items requested for the green card interview are:
1. Your green card appointment letter
2. Your passport that will be valid for at least the next six months
3. Alien registration form DS-230 and your application for green card
4. Birth certificates
5. A marriage certificate, if applicable
6. Divorce certificates
7. Two front view – and recent – photographs
8. Any relevant USCIS documentation
9. Death certificates
The best idea to ensure that you are completely ready for your interview is to create a checklist. On it, list all of the documents that you must bring and check them off as you compile them. Include some of the sample questions that might be asked, and practice answering them before going to your interview. Be sure to go through the checklist with your spouse or fiancee to ensure that the two of you are completely ready for the big day.