The Marriage-Based Green Card Interview Process: 7 Very Common Mistakes

Your Marriage-Based Green Card interview is crucial, and you need to be prepared to know what to expect. There is a lot of uncertainty around the questions an immigration officer is going to ask. You may not be prepared for the questions, and in this video, you will learn about seven common mistakes that you’ll want to avoid and explained in detail in this video.

Green Card Interview Appointment Letter

Receiving a Green Card Interview Appointment Letter is the very first step of the entire process of Marriage-Based Green Card application. The notification can be an email or a physical letter. Applicants are required to produce the email or letter you received by mail at the interview.

Marriage-Based Green Card Interview Questions and Answers

Preparing For Green Card Interview Questions In 2020

Green Card interview questions can take you by surprise, which is why you’ll want to prepare yourself well in advance. In fact, too often, people do not prepare themselves. First of all, the Green Card interview appointment letter comes with a list of documents that you need to produce at the interview. Prepare and bring all documents to the interview. You also need to prepare a copy of the Green Card application that you submitted. Many believe there is no need to bring along their Green Card application because they already submitted it. Sometimes the Immigration Officer conducting your interview may not have all the documents, so you want to be prepared to provide the officer with any missing documentation for your case, and by doing so, facilitate the interview process.

Green Card Interview Documents Checklist

Here is a list of the most important documents you’ll want to have with you at the interview:

  • marriage certificates;
  • certified divorce decrees;
  • birth certificate of children;
  • certified criminal documents (if you have a criminal issue);
  • passport;
  • joint documents demonstrating that you have a real relationship.

Documents supporting the fact that you have a real relationship are crucial because just being married is not enough. You have to demonstrate that you actually have a real relationship. From their point of view, immigration officials evaluate and establish whether or not your relationship is “real” by evaluating documents supporting the quality of your relationship. For example, joint documents are:

  • joint bank account statements;
  • joint leases;
  • joint utility bills.

These are some examples of green card interview marriage documents
the immigration officer will carefully evaluate. In fact, when people are married, they have things co-mingled, and they have joint documents. This is one way for an immigration officer to judge your relationship. Therefore marriage documents are essential: you want to make sure you are prepared with as many supporting documents as you have available.

Marriage-Based Green Card Interview Questions and Answers

Mistake number two during Marriage-Based Green Card interviews is people providing unnecessary information. During the interview, people can get carried away and just go on and on talking about themselves.

Stick to the point!

You want to just stick to the point and not go on to a tangent because unnecessary information can often provide the immigration officer an opportunity to question you about that tangent. If your memory doesn’t serve you correctly, you might not know how to correctly answer the follow-up question. At times, people contradict themselves because they get nervous, so stick to the point and just answer the questions you are asked by the immigration officer.

The same goes for the green card interview documents checklist. Provide only the relevant documentation you are required to produce.

Don’t Lie to an Immigration Officer

Never lie to an immigration officer, and the reason you don’t want to lie to an immigration officer should be apparent: you are under oath. By lying, you could be charged with fraud or misrepresentation, leading to a denial and, ultimately, to removal. You’d think this is obvious, but people believe that they need to lie. Lying is not going to help your case. What I see some people do is get really nervous. They think they need to provide a date and a specific time that something happened. If you don’t remember a particular time or place, that’s okay. If you don’t know every date or exact time something happened, just explain to the officer you don’t remember. You absolutely do not want to lie.

Be Agreeable, Have a Positive Attitude

Mistake number four: being combative. You don’t want to be combative at your Green Card interview. You can imagine how many officers are professional, but many are not. Regardless of their behavior, you want to remain and be composed. Talk to the officer respectfully, address them as an officer.

Green Card Interview Dress Code

Your Green Card Interview attire is important. There is no specific attire guide for interviews, nor is there a determined dress code. However, you would go to an interview dressed to be respectful to the immigration officer who will decide your case. Immigration officers are the jury in your case – they’re going to make the ultimate decision, so you want them to be on your side.

Ultimately, if you have an officer asking you inappropriate questions, who has gone and crossed the line, you can ask for the interview to be stopped or ask to speak to a supervisor as a last resort. However, you don’t want to be combative with the immigration officer and argue back and forth because that will not help your case.

Arriving late at your Green Card Interview Appointment

This is mistake number five: arriving late. Again, this is obvious, but it’s also a common mistake that I see people make. They take their Marriage-Based Green Card interview too casually. Remember, this is your chance, and if you miss the interview, the consequences could lead to a denial. Make sure you are on time. Allow for accidents, unforeseen events along the way, and allow for traffic. With Covid, you must arrive only 15 minutes before your interview because of social distancing. After Covid is over, I recommend arriving at the interview location at least 30 minutes, even an hour beforehand. This is what was happening pre-Covid, and it is my advice to my clients because the lines could be very long. Therefore, you will have to plan your trip depending on circumstances – right now, you need to be there 15 minutes before your appointment. They are handling this whole Covid situation well. They are spacing out the interviews very well, so fifteen minutes beforehand is good. I recommend allowing for any kind of mishaps and unforeseen events that could happen on your way to the interview. You can always wait in your car if you arrive early.

Worrying Too Much About the Interview

Your Green Card Application interview is crucial to you. You’re naturally going to be worried and will have some anxiety. However, I want you to just relax dinner out if you can with your spouse and just enjoy the evening and get plenty of rest the day before your interview. When you’re tired, you can’t remember things. Typical questions Immigration Officers ask are not challenging to answer. For example, when did you meet, what was the date of your marriage, etc. They will ask you questions you may not know how to answer, which is not a problem. You don’t have to know every single question immigration officers ask. So if you are not able to answer a question, that’s okay. One wrong answer will not mess up your whole case. Make sure that you are prepared for the interview. If you’re ready, then there’s nothing to worry about. Still, you need to prepare the interview because some people take the Marriage-Based Green Card interview too lightly, casually, and think: “I’m married, and I will not have any issues” is not always the case. So prepare the interview, and you’ll be fine!

Going To Your Green Card Interview Without a Lawyer

You should plan your Green Card interview with a Lawyer. Failure to bring an immigration attorney can be an issue if you have complications – especially with this administration. If you attend your green card interview with a lawyer will protect you from inappropriate questions, especially if you have criminal issues that can make matters complicated. An Immigration attorney can intervene in that kind of situation. Some situations sometimes need to be explained, and having an attorney in these situations will help make the interview go much smoother. Like most people, you’re going to be stressed: having an immigration attorney assist you will make you feel less stressed. It’s good to have an attorney as a witness in the most unfortunate event your case is denied for any reason. In fact, the attorney will be able to refute anything that may be alleged incorrectly on the denial. Therefore, having an attorney there just for that reason is also a smart move.