What to expect during an immigration interview on a spousal petition ?
So you filed for your spouse, and now finally the interview day has arrived. What can you expect ?
The interview process is usually pretty straight forward. You should print out and take a copy of the complete packet submitted to USCIS (we normally provide a scan of the whole packet to our clients), and review the interview notice carefully for any additional items requested. You should also bring the originals (or certified copies), and a photocopy, of any documents that were already submitted (e.g. birth certificates, passports, etc.), as USCIS may want to view the official document.
If you are not appearing with an attorney, but an attorney filed the papers for you, you will likely be asked at the beginning of the interview to sign a release, allowing the interview to proceed without your legal counsel (that is normal, and unless requested we usually do not appear with our clients to save them costs).
Regarding the interview questions, it's difficult to specify, but here is some general guidance:
For identification purposes, you will usually be asked some biographical information, such as your date of birth, address, date of entry into the U.S., mother’s/father’s name, date/place of marriage, etc. You may be asked questions concerning any criminal history, prior immigration violations, drug/alcohol dependency, etc.
The interviewer may ask to see the originals of the copies you submitted with the petition or application (birth certificate, marriage certificate, I-94, etc.).
Once it is time to ask questions concerning your marriage, you may or may not be separated from each other. These questions focus on whether or not the marriage is genuine. Some examples would be:
How did you meet?
When did you start living together?
Where was your spouse working when you met?
What type of degree does your spouse have?
What is your spouse's mother's name?
Does your spouse have any siblings, and if so, what are their names?
When was the last time you visited them?
How far is the drive to their house?
How much is your rent?
Do you have/want kids?
Are you using any form of contraception, and if so, what kind?
Do you have cable or satellite television?
Who are your cell phone providers?
Although you may not be asked such in-depth questions, it is good to be prepared for this type of "interrogation".
Also, please remember that cameras are not allowed, and you will be sent back to your car if you have them (this usually includes phones with cameras).
Good luck, and congratulations on almost finishing this stage of your process !