If you begin the process of applying for a green card based on marriage to a United States citizen, you will have to complete several important steps. These typically include submitting your application, compiling comprehensive evidence of your relationship and attending an interview.

In some cases, USCIS may single out a specific application and demand an additional interview with the goal of determining whether the marriage is real or fraudulent. Proper preparation can help you get through this often nerve-wracking process successfully.

Reasons you may receive an interview notice

The first thing to know is that if USCIS wants this interview, it means something in your file raised a red flag. For some couples, this will happen independently of how well they fill out their initial application. For example, when both spouses have had previous green card applications based on marriages to other people, they can expect this type of interview.

Reducing the chances of an interview

On the other hand, many couples can decrease the chances of having to go through a fraud interview by taking care with their initial application. This means checking their information for correctness and lack of contradictions, including good-quality copies of essential documents and providing a solid, detailed history of the relationship, along with supporting documentation. However, doing so still does not guarantee you will not have to appear for an interview, especially considering the possibility that interview requirements will increase across the board.

What happens at the interview

If you must attend an interview, understanding how it works can help you prepare. The interviewer will speak with the two of you separately. Your attorney may be present at the interview.

Interviewers want to determine whether the two of you really had a relationship and currently live together as spouses. They often ask detailed, probing questions about a wide range of topics, including very personal ones, such as contraception methods. They may ask to see both spouses’ keys to see if they open the same locks. Understand that during this interview you will need to produce information that, in the real world, many spouses do not always notice or remember, such as what your spouse watched on TV a few days ago.