Here's what you should know about green card marriage interviews

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As the old saying goes, love conquers all distance. Still, it is much easier to be near someone you love than far away. Now that you and your foreign-born spouse are married, you may be wondering how to get them a green card so that they can remain with you in the United States.

Your spouse can apply for a green card, but there is a significant step to take before it is approved. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is concerned that some couples get married solely to obtain one spouse a green card. For your spouse's green card application to be approved, you must sit through an interview with USCIS to prove that your marriage is authentic.

This may sound impossible--after all, how can anyone possibly prove their love in a formal interview? To help you through the process, read these facts that you should know about the interview process.

The interview process

A USCIS immigration officer will conduct the green card marriage interview. He or she will go over the details of your application, including the statements that you provided. The officer will be checking to see whether your responses in the interview match the answers in your application. You will likely be asked questions about your family, your past and your relationship with your spouse. Some of these questions may seem personal, but they are a necessary part of the interview. Try not to be nervous--be calm, be polite and be honest.

How to prepare

Review your application before the interview, so your answers are consistent. It may also be a good idea to prepare with an immigration attorney. Arrive at the interview location a bit early. You and your spouse will want to bring your passports, birth certificates and any immigration documents with you. Some materials that you may want to bring as additional evidence include:

  • Photographs
  • Bills
  • Letters
  • Emails
  • Bank statements
  • Tax statements
  • The marriage certificate

The penalties

No doubt, the two of you are in a loving relationship. It may seem unthinkable that anyone could doubt its integrity. Still, the USCIS does sometimes conclude that a marriage is not genuine. If this should happen, there could be penalties such as fines or even permanent refusal of entry into the U.S. However, this highly unlikely as long as you and your spouse prepare adequately and act like your natural, loving selves.

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