Traditionally, the process of obtaining a marriage based green card through adjustment of status culminates in a marriage interview at the local USCIS district office. During this interview, a USCIS officer will ask a battery of questions to determine the validity of the marital relationship and whether the foreign national applicant qualifies for the green card. Normally, this will happen with the couple present together in the room. Sometimes, however, an officer may decide, in his or her discretion, to separate the couple and ask questions separately to each spouse. (This is called a “Stokes” interview.)
Given this process, the interview can be a source of much anxiety to a couple applying for a green card. Part of this comes from not knowing what will be asked of them during the interview. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common questions that USCIS officers ask during a marriage green card interview.
Questions about the relationship history
Applicants should expect an officer to quiz them on the history of the marital relationship. For example, these questions are typically asked:
- How long have you known each other?
- When and how did you meet?
- Where did you go on your first date?
- How did your spouse propose to you?
- Who was present at the wedding?
- Were there any cultural or religious ceremonies conducted? Discuss.
Questions about daily life
An officer may also delve into the couple’s daily life and regimen. Typical questions we have encountered include:
- How do you split the household responsibilities?
- Who pays the bills? How?
- How often do you eat dinner together? Where was the last place you ate?
- Does your spouse go the gym? Which one?
- Who does your spouse work for? What is the phone number at work?
Questions about future plans
The USCIS officer may also ask about the couple’s future plans, including where they plan to live, whether they plan to have children, and what their long-term goals are. Some questions mays include:
- Does you spouse want to have children? How many?
- Does your spouse come from a big family?
- Does your spouse have any medical conditions that would prevent having a family?
- Are there any stepchildren? What kind of relationship do you have with them?
Questions about cultural and religious differences
The officer may ask about any cultural or religious differences between the couple and how they navigate those differences. They may also ask about any family members who may have objected to the marriage or any cultural or religious traditions that are important to the couple. For example:
- What faith does your spouse follow? Does it conflict with yours?
- If you have different faiths, how do you reconcile them?
- When was the last time your spouse observed a religious custom or practice?
- What was the last cultural custom you observed together as a couple?
Questions about immigration history
The USCIS officer may ask about the immigration history of both the petitioner and the beneficiary. For example:
- How did your spouse enter the country? On what type of visa?
- Is your US Citizen spouse a born citizen or naturalized?
- Has your US Citizen spouse ever filed for anybody else previously?
- Has your foreign national spouse ever applied for any immigration benefits previously?
Preparing for a marriage green card interview can be extremely stressful but knowing what to expect can help ease your nerves. Having an attorney represent you at the interview can also help to alleviate any tension by ensuring that you will be treated fairly and that the questions are appropriate. If you would like more information on what to expect at your marriage-based interview, please contact our office. We can help you!