Green Card Interview - Marriage
Interview at the USCIS office is usually the last stage before you receive your Green Card. Please note that every case is different. The following information is not legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding your case, please contact your Attorney. Your Appointment Letter will consist of a very long list of documents. This is a generic list that covers almost every case and the USCIS sends it to everybody. You do not have to bring every document listed on your Appointment Letter. You are only required to bring the documents that apply to your case.
Will I receive a 2-year Green Card or a 10-year Green Card?
- If on the date of your interview or decision, you have been married for less than 2 years, you will always receive a 2-year Conditional Green Card.
- If you have been married for more than 2 years, you will get a 10-year Green Card.
- The type of the Green Card (2-year vs 10-year) depends only on the length of your marriage. It does not depend on how strong the evidence of your marriage relationship is.
- Arrive on time. Please allow extra time to go through the security.
- Make sure your cell phone is turned off during the interview.
- Dress appropriately – this is not a wedding but it is also not a Sunday barbeque at your neighbor's backyard.
If you did not submit your medical exam, you must bring you medical exam in a sealed envelope - you must not open the envelope. If you submitted your medical exam with your application, please discuss with your attorney whether it is still valid. The rules about how long your medical exam is valid for keep changing - please click here for the latest information.
What documents to bring to the Interview:
You must bring original documents to the Interview. During the interview, the officer will compare the original documents to the copies that were sent to USCIS. Unless specifically instructed, you don't have to bring translations – they should have already been submitted.
- Appointment letter;
- Evidence of Petitioner's US Citizenship: Naturalization Certificate, US Passport, US Birth Certificate or evidence of Petitioner's lawful permanent resident: Green Card;
- Marriage Certificate;
- Divorce Judgments and prior marriage certificates, if applicable;
- Birth Certificate (full transcript that contains both parents' information) of the Applicant (immigrant);
- All Passports (current and expired) with your visa;
- Forms I-94;
- Forms I-20 and evidence of school attendance, if applicable;
- The most recent tax return, W-2 and paystubs from the Petitioner and from a Joint Sponsor, if applicable;
- Court dispositions, if applicable;
- Evidence of your marriage relationship (see below).
What documents to show good faith (bona fide) marriage relationship:
Each case is different and not every item from the below list applies to every case. The important thing to remember is to bring evidence and documents that span over the course of your relationship.
- Pictures (ideally in a nice photo album);
- Birth certificates of your children, if applicable;
- Bank statements (put them in order);
- Joint tax returns;
- Joint mortgage statements;
- Joint apartment lease;
- Credit card statements;
- Utility bills;
- Cell phone bills;
- Joint health insurance policy or cards;
- Car insurance and registration;
- Driver licenses showing your joint address;
- Evidence of joint travel (airfare bookings, hotel reservations, etc.)
- Any other evidence that shows that your marriage is real.
What types of questions will we be asked?
The purpose of the interview is to show to the USCIS officer that you married your spouse in good faith and not for the sole purpose of obtaining a green card. The officer will ask you various questions such as your full names, your dates and places of birth, the date of your marriage, your current address and your employment information. There are no specific questions that are always asked - it all depends on your individual situation. For example, if you were married before, the officer might ask your spouse about the name of your prior spouse. If you have children from your previous marriage, the officer might ask about their names, age and where they live. If you are employed, your spouse can expect questions about the type of work you do, what is the name of your employer, your salary, how you get to work and what types of hours you work. As you can see, the questions will depend on your individual situation and as long as your marriage is bona fide, you should not be afraid of these questions. Also, if you don't remember or if you are unsure of the answer, you may simply tell the officer that you forgot - it is normal and you should not panic - just explain why you don't remember the answer and try to provide the best estimate.
When will I know the decision?
This depends on the officer. In some cases, if the case is complete and the interview has gone well, the officer might tell you that everything looks good and the case will be approved once the final security clearances are competed. In other cases, an officer might take a more formal position and will simply let you know that the decision will be mailed to you. If there is something that the officer might require from you in addition to the documents that you have submitted during the interview, the officer will either give you a letter at the end of the interview or such a letter will be mailed to you. Please be sure to respond to such a letter within the deadline.