Spouse are eligible to get a green card for a U.S. citizen’s immediate relative. This is referred to as a marriage based green card and enables the immigrant spouse permanent resident status in the U.S. Some of the benefits of this green card include enabling the immigrant spouse the chance to get a driver’s license, travel in and out of the U.S., and to apply for Social Security.
When attempting to get marriage based adjustment of status, you and your spouse need to be prepared for the consular processingstages. The right green card through marriage lawyer will help you understand what to do before, during, and after this important procedure. Given the importance of this interview, you cannot afford to make mistakes, even if these are honest omissions. Plenty of practice for and knowledge about the interview will help you approach the day of with ease.
In this post, you’ll learn what forms must be submitted, how to prove that you have a valid marriage, what questions will be asked during the interview, and tips for success in the interview for your green card after marriage.
There are three phases in this process: using Form I-130 to establish the relationship, applying for a green card, and waiting for the green card interview and approval.
Filing the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Form
You’ll need multiple resources in order to get marriage based adjustment of status. This includes:
- Petition for Alien Relative (I-130 form)
- Medical Examination Results (I-693 form)
- Application to Register Permanent Residence (I-485)
- Affidavit of Support (I-864 form)
- Biographic Information (G-325A form)
- All pieces of supporting evidence
- Government filing fee
After the I-130 form is approved, the next step involves applying for a green card. A marriage based green card lawyer can help you to prepare for all of these phases and avoid common mistakes when seeking a green card after marriage.
Applying for Lawful Permanent Resident Status (Green Card)
The process does not end when conditional approval is provided. A conditional marriage-based green card is only valid for two years and cannot be renewed. An adjustment of status application must be filed through form 1-485, and the form that must be filled out depends on the spouse’s current location. Ask your adjustment of status lawyer for help.
Green Card Applicants That Live in the U.S.
If the spouse lives in the U.S., the next phase of the process is to file the I-485 Adjustment of Status Form.
Materials needed with this application for a green card through marriage include proof that the spouse entered on a valid visa, proof of the foreign spouse’s nationality, proof of the sponsor spouse’s financial ability to support the other spouse, a medical exam, and proof that no conviction occurred for any arrests for the spouse seeking a green card.
Items needed for this form include:
- Government filing fees
- Proof of nationality
- Proof of lawful U.S. entry
- Medical exam
- Proof of sponsoring spouse’s financial ability to support
Green Card Applicants That Live Outside the U.S.
If the spouse lives outside the U.S., the process is different. The nest phase in this case is to file an application with the National Visa Center. During this stage, the spouse has to go through Consular Process with the NVC.
During this phase, the NVC organizes documents to determine whether or not the spouse is ready for an interview. Some of the important components of the filing package include:
- Government filing fees
- Form DS-260 (online green card application)
- Nationality proof
- Police clearance certificate
Proving a Legitimate Marriage
Unfortunately, during the marriage based green card process, couples will have to be on high alert for accusations of fraud. Getting a green card through marriage is often susceptible to fraud. This means that the USCIS investigates each case carefully. Being prepared with appropriate documentation helps to show the legitimacy of the marriage.
Certain documents will help to support that the marriage is not fraudulent. This can include photos together, joint bank account statements, mortgage documents, insurance policies, or a joint lease.
What Questions Will They Ask at the Marriage-Based Green Card Interview?
Many different questions can be asked during the interview process. Make sure to practice many times before coming to the interview, but not so much that each answer sounds prepared.
Some of the most common questions include:
- How long did you date before deciding to get married?
- Where did you get married?
- What do you both enjoy for breakfast?
- Who does what chores in the house?
- Where do guests sleep in your house?
- What color is your sofa?
- Which door do you most commonly use to enter the home?
- Who cooks most of the meals? What foods do you both enjoy?
- Have you met one another’s families?
- What did you spouse get you for your last birthday?
- What hobbies do you share?
- How long have you known each other?
- Who pays what bills in the relationship?
- How did you meet?
Tips for the Marriage-Based Green Card Interview
The more prepared you feel for the interview, the easier it will be to speak comfortably and accurately in response to the questions. Interviewers are prepared to spot red flags that could indicate fraud. The following tips will help you and your spouse when interviewing for a green card through marriage:
- Wear professional clothing, which helps to show that you take this process seriously
- Show up at least 30 minutes early
- Arrive with plenty of practice with the interview questions already completed beforehand
- Remain calm even if a question is confusing of if you are separated from your spouse during the interview process
- Be honest if you do not know the answer to a particular question
- Do not recite memorized facts. Even if these statements are accurate, it appears that you have canned answers.
- Act normally, and don’t try to be too affectionate with your spouse during the interview
Whether you need help with adjustment of statusthrough marriage or other assistance with a marriage based green card, hiring the right lawyer is important.
Contact Attorney Eric Price Today!
Are you happily married and ready to make your spouse a permanent resident? If you’re interested in feeling prepared and confident for your marriage-based green card interview, schedule a consultation today. Attorney Eric Price has extensive experience with this process and can guide you through the next steps.