Tag Archives: k1 visa

Green Card Interview Questions & Preparation for Spouses

This post is particularly helpful for the K1 Visa for Fiances and K3 Visa for Marriage.

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.

Guest Author

Sutton Hartnet

Foreigner Widows to US Citizen Spouses

When an American Citizen dies before a foreign fiancee has a chance to adjust status, the law is very arbitrary as it can deny US Immigration benefits to the widow of an American Citizen.

American Immigration law is very complex because it is based largely upon Federal statutes. Some facets of United States Immigration are very complex and one area which is very complicated occurs at the convergence of two events that no multi-national couple wants to think about: untimely demise and loss of lawful status in the USA.

In situations where a visa is based upon marriage to an American Citizen, in order for a foreign fiancee to ultimately acquire lawful permanent residence without conditions; the foreign spouse must pass through a series of due diligence inquiries in order for the government to be certain that the underlying marriage is genuine. To a certain extent, the US government begins scrutinizing a couple the moment a United States Citizen files an application to sponsor a foreign fiancee for a K1 visa. Upon preliminary approval, the file will be sent to the US Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over the foreign fiancee’s residence. The Consulate will interview the applicant and if satisfied that the marriage is genuine, they will issue a K1 visa. The non-Citizen fiance will subsequently be required to pass through a port of entry in the United States of America. Agents of the Department of Homeland Security will make certain that the entrant is not inadmissible.

After being lawfully admitted to the USA, the foreign fiancee will have 90 days to marry the American Citizen and adjust status to permanent residence. In most cases, the marriage is executed and the foreign spouse is approved for adjustment, thereby making her a conditional lawful permanent resident. Once two years has elapsed the non-Citizen Spouse and the Citizen Spouse will need to file to have the non-Citizen’s conditionality of residence lifted and thereby make the non-Citizen an unconditional lawful permanent resident. The “Widow’s Penalty” can come into play before either the approval of the adjustment of status or the approval of the petition to lift of conditions of residence. If the American Citizen spouse dies prior to the approval of either of these petitions, then it can create a difficult situation for the foreign spouse because the applicant no longer meets the requirement for a lifting of conditions or adjustment.

Therefore, the foreign widow could fall out of status because they are no longer married to an American. United States Federal Courts have tried to deal with this issue by interpreting the law in such a way that allows foreign widows to stay in America. The Department of Homeland Security has also taken measures to defer inspection of foreign widows and widowers in order to provide a sort of amnesty for those placed in such a difficult position.

This issue has not been fully dealt with as there are many conflicting interpretations of the current law. In general, the mood of the courts seems to be in favor of doing away with this so-called penalty because implementing the law in its current form leads to unfair outcomes for immigrants already present in the USA.

Guest Author

Ben Hart