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How Should I Prepare For The Green Card Interview?

Upon submitting your green card application, you will have to attend an interview. Based on your documents and the information you give during this part of the process, the government official will decide whether your application should be approved or not.

Many people dread this interview because they understand how significant it is. Yes, you have to come prepared, but there are also some tips you can use to ensure everything goes smoothly. Here is everything you need to know.

Review all documents

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The first thing you have to do when your interview gets scheduled is to go over your application form and all additional documents. All information must be accurate. It goes without saying that you will review these documents with an officer during the first part of the interview.

If an officer notices any inconsistencies between the application form and your statements, you won’t leave an impression of a trustworthy person, and getting your green card will become that much more difficult. Due to this reason, you should go over the entire process before the interview and visit this page if you need a step-by-step guide.

What if something changes?

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Considering that the interview won’t take place for many months after submitting your application, several things may change. In some way, this is to be expected, so it shouldn’t be too difficult for you to change the original information.

However, you must notify the officer of these new circumstances. Naturally, you have to bring evidence that supports your claims. In addition, you have to make sure that you still meet all the requirements. These will depend on the type of green card you hope to obtain. Therefore, you have to go over these once again before you make any significant changes.

Marriage-based interview

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If you want to obtain this type of visa, you will have to invest a bit more time and effort into the process. Even though you cannot know the questions you will be asked, there are general topics they will cover. First of all, the officer will inquire about your relationship’s history.

They will want to know how you met, where you went on your first date, how long you went out before deciding to get married, how you or your spouse proposed, etc. Then, there will be a set of questions regarding the wedding itself. When and where you got married, how many people you invited, and even small details like what type of food you served.

Although these seem like general questions, there will also be some that will tell the officer how well you know each other. For example, which side of the bed your sleep on, what your spouse’s favorite piece of clothing or jewelry is, and so on. Finally, if you have children, there will be a new set of questions regarding their school and education, extracurricular activities, likes and dislikes, friends, etc.

Talk with your spouse

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The trick with this interview is that there isn’t a set of questions you can go over. The officer can ask you anything that pops into their mind. Surely you know your spouse very well, but even couples who have been together for a long time forget some things. Because of this, you should search online for other people’s experiences and find the list of questions they got asked.

You should start by talking with your spouse and answering all of them. Then, you can expand this list and ask each other whatever comes to your mind. No, no details will be unnecessary, and there is always a chance that the officer will want to learn about them.

Body language

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It is vital to give the best impression when you attend this interview. If you have to attend it with your spouse, you have to know that the officer will notice your body language. The truth is that it is pretty easy for them to notice if the couple got married solely for the purpose of getting a green card. In this case, people are not sure how they should act, so they either get overly affectionate or sit next to each other as if they are strangers.

The best thing you can do is act naturally. Yes, you can hold hands, but you should still make sure not to go overboard and give the wrong impression. Try to stay calm, answer all the questions truthfully, and give your partner a chance to do the same.

Be honest and straightforward

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We have already mentioned several times how important it is to be completely sincere when speaking with the officer. The absolute last thing you should do is to try to cover up something and lie. Not only will they go over all the data you previously provided, but they may also speak with your partner separately, so they will see right through you.

The biggest mistake people make is that they try to present their marriage as perfect. As you know, no marriage is perfect, and therefore you shouldn’t go down this path. What’s more, in some instances, the officer may ask you a question that is too personal. Yes, you can decline to answer it, and they will move on to the next one.

However, you should not implement this right into every question you don’t want to answer. Once again, this will make you seem like you are hiding something. The bottom line is that you should try to relax and speak freely.

What happens next?

Lastly, you have to learn about the next part of the process. It is the only way to ensure that you follow all the requirements and act as you should. The first thing that can happen is that you get approved for the green card. The officer will inform you immediately, and you will have 30 days to obtain the document.

On the other hand, if things don’t go smoothly, the officer may ask you to deliver some additional papers to prove the information in the application form is correct. In the case of a married-based visa, these can include bank statements, utility bills, and so on. In some instances, they may need additional time to review all the forms once again, and you may have to attend another interview and speak with them one more time.

Finally, the worst-case scenario is to have your application denied. If this happens, you can always submit an appeal and ask for another review and interview, but keep in mind that you will probably have to hire a lawyer to lead you through these steps.

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