Let’s jump right to the interview – how we got there, whether you entered the US legally, or whether you had to obtain a waiver or perdon/pardon,– those are blog posts for another time. What we are primarily focused on today is preparing for your immigration interview based on your marriage to a US Citizen.

 Mawwage is what bwings us togeva todayyy…
So, you’ve gotten your interview notice – what’s next?

First, you must keep in mind the purpose of the immigration interview. The interview is to determine the bona fides of the marriage – whether you and your spouse entered into the marriage in good faith, and not just to circumvent immigration laws to get a green card.

There are three facets to proving the bone fides of the marriage:

  1. That you have financial ties with your spouse,
  2. That you make important decisions together, and
  3. That you have property together.

Some non-traditional types may have difficulty providing evidence, but that isn’t necessarily going to end in a finding of fraud. Pay attention to your interview notice. Study it and make sure you know the time and place of your interview, if your immigration interview is in Fort Smith, it will be at the USCIS Field Office. Also listed on your interview notice are items you should bring with you.

When you arrive at your interview:

It is best to have your evidence in a box or a folder, so as to keep it all contained. You will have to go through a security check, and it’s a real hassle if you do not have your evidence neatly contained once you get there. Dress nicely. I usually tell clients to dress as if they were going to church. Clothes should be clean, unwrinkled, neat, and modest. You should appear well-groomed and presentable. If you have wedding rings, or other symbolic exchanges, wear them proudly, and talk about them during your interview. Bring pictures of your courtship, of your marriage ceremony, and of family interactions between both of your families. Bring bills and insurance in both names, bank statements showing a joint account is actively being used, and proof of cohabitation such as a co-signed residential lease, mortgage, or at the very least, mail to both of you coming to the same address.

The first interview is usually a fun experience for both the interviewer and the clients.

Try to be yourself. Your interviewer will usually go over your I-485 application, and then ask questions and get to know you as a couple. The questions asked are completely particular to your interviewer. Some are more interested in looking at the physical evidence (pictures, bills, etc.) and will ask few questions. Others will go through every single photograph and have questions about each one. Still others will barely look at the physical evidence and will instead ask questions about your courtship and marriage ceremony. The important thing to remember is to be relaxed, calm, and honestly answer any and all questions they ask you.

Most clients do not need a lawyer present at the interview.

However, it may be beneficial to be accompanied by an attorney if the alien in the relationship has a criminal background, or has been involved in criminal activity such as using a fake social security number or fake ID. Another consideration is whether the alien has had multiple unlawful entries into the United States, and whether or not they have ever been caught, fingerprinted, or questioned by immigration officials for any infractions. For the most part, this should be an easy and fun experience for most couples.

However, if you are extremely nervous or feel that there might be something in your background to warrant an attorney’s involvement with your interview, call our office and ask if one of our immigration attorneys in Fort Smith, Arkansas will go with you. (479) 782-1125