How to Prove Your Marriage Is Real to USCIS


What is an Adjustment of Status interview?

Generally speaking, a foreign national spouse of a U.S. citizen can apply for a “green card” through the adjustment of status process. This application process usually culminates with an interview with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”). If you applied for a green card through marriage, you and your spouse will almost certainly be called in for an interview with USCIS (if the applicant resides in the United States), or overseas at a U.S. consulate or embassy (if the applicant resides overseas). This interview is to ensure that your marriage is legitimate and not a sham or of a fraudulent nature.

In order for USCIS to schedule your adjustment of status interview, an applicant must first file Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status. On average, an adjustment of status interview takes approximately 20-30 minutes, after you and your spouse are sworn in and your identities are confirmed by the USCIS officer. If anything in your life has changed since the filing of the adjustment of status application, it is important that you and your spouse bring appropriate documentation to this effect. If a negative development has occurred since the filing of the application, such as an arrest or conviction, it is highly advised that you speak to an immigration attorney before proceeding.

What questions should you expect from your interview?
During your adjustment of status interview, USICS officers will ask you and your spouse questions about your relationship and married life together. The following is a non-exhaustive list of interview questions that a USCIS officer may ask:

  • The circumstances surrounding how you and your spouse met;
  • When, where, and why you and your spouse decided to get married;
  • Details about your wedding, including how many people attended and what sort of food or drinks were served;
  • Whether you and your spouse went on a honeymoon together, and where;
  • What your address is, and who currently lives there;
  • What vehicles, including the make, model, color, etc., you and your spouse drive;
  • What type of work your spouse is engaged in;
  • When your spouse’s birthday is;
  • Whether you and your spouse have a joint bank account;
  • Division of labor within the household (who cleans, cooks, pays the bills, etc.);
  • Details about your residence, including positioning of furniture.

Applicants are expected to provide documents—such as shared credit card statements, joint utility bills, and photographs of your wedding and other family events—demonstrating the truthfulness of their responses.

Following the interview
If all goes smoothly, the USCIS officer may approve your I-485 form immediately after your interview. You will either be approved for permanent residence or conditional residence,[1] if you and your spouse have been married for less than two years or entered the United States on a fiancé visa. Alternatively, the USCIS officer may send a decision later to your address on record. USCIS will inform you by mail if more information is required.

On the other hand, if the USCIS officer suspects your marriage is illegitimate, you and your spouse will have to meet with the USCIS fraud unit. If you and your spouse are in the United States at your adjustment of status interview, both of you will be interviewed separately with similar, if not the same, questions. The USCIS officers will then compare your answers side-by-side. If the applicant was interviewed at a U.S. consulate overseas, the U.S. spouse will likely be called in for a separate interview in the United States.

Why Having an Immigration Attorney is Crucial

The immigration process is complicated, and individuals who attempt to take on immigration law alone have the potential to harm their case. An experienced immigration attorney can guide you through the application process and help you gather the necessary evidence and documentation related to your case. Having an attorney on your side can increase the chances of getting your waiver application approved.

If you or a loved one needs assistance with immigration waivers, our team of experienced immigration lawyers can help. Contact Yekrangi & Associates at (949) 478-4963 for more information about how we can help you with all your immigration needs.

[1] A conditional permanent resident who obtained status through marriage must file a Form I-751 to remove conditions on his or her permanent resident status.

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