Approach is Everything
The approach you take to the interview is critical. The immigration officer knows nothing about you or your marriage. Accordingly, your task is to *educate* the officer about why your marriage is in good faith. And who are the best educators? Those who are prepared, those who know their subject, and those who care about the people they are teaching. Being prepared means having the application completed properly and supported by evidence of the bona fides of the marriage. Knowing your subject means knowing about your spouse and the history and details of your marital relationship. Caring about the person you are educating means understanding that the immigration officer is not a mean person out to get you, but a very busy government employee who needs to quickly figure out whether the green card application should be approved. It also means that if the officer becomes upset or frustrated, you remain polite and in control, just like a good teacher would.
It's Your Good Faith Marriage; Stand up for It!
At these marriage interviews, misunderstandings and miscommunications can lead to confusion with the immigration officer, who may then begin to doubt the validity of the marriage. The officer might go on the attack, pushing the applicant and petitioner to admit that the marriage is a sham. I've seen that when under pressure, good people with valid marriages will often cave in, particularly where the officer has divided the spouses at the interview. What you should do when things go wrong: stay polite, stay cool, but stand up for your good faith marriage. Often times, the officer will be willing to listen your explanation, but not if you've already wilted under pressure. Because really, if you don't stand up for you own marriage, who will?
You're Married: Now Meet Your Spouse
Remember that old game show the Newlywed Game? The marriage interview isn't all that different. You need to be able to discuss the history of your relationship and details of your current marital union. In terms of history, I ask my clients to sit down together, with red wine and candlelight, and discuss the following: +plans on living together and financial responsibilities +plans on working, income earning, and finances +educational goals and expenses +current and future career plans +plans on having and raising children +religious issues +acquiring and managing assets (home, car, automobiles, investments, etc.) +taking on health, disability, automobile, and home insurance +relationships with each other's parents and close relatives +carrying household responsibilities (money management, cooking, cleaning, laundry, childcare, home maintenance) +The arrangement of every room in the home and its decor +familiarity with each other's work and travel schedules
Consulting with an Attorney
Many people attend their green card marriage interview without an attorney and have no problems. However, if for example, either spouse has a criminal history, or the immigrant spouse entered illegally or as a tourist, these cases can get dicey really fast. If you're reading this, it probably means there is something that's worrying you about the green card application. Consulting with a lawyer, say at , can help you determine whether it's nothing or whether there really is something to be concerned about.
The Law Office of Daniel Shanfield has prepared this Guide solely for informational purposes. The contents of this website are not to be considered legal advice. Neither this website, nor access to or receipt of information therefrom, is intended to create or constitute a lawyer/client relationship. This website is not intended as a substitute for legal counsel, and no one should act upon any information contained in this website without seeking legal counsel. This Guide does not guarantee success in your particular matter. Every immigration case, especially yours, is unique and requires careful analysis by an experienced immigration lawyer. Please contact our immigration law firm at (888) 275-0047 or another law firm for an attorney to evaluate your case.