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Putting your marriage under a microscope to get a green card

You fell in love with a U.S. citizen and vowed to spend the rest of your lives together. The two of you expect your bond to last forever, but you still face one obstacle to continuing your journey. You need to take the trip to your local immigration office here in New York for your marriage interview to determine whether you receive permanent resident status.

Prior to the current upheaval in immigration law, officials looked at marriages between U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens with skepticism. Now, with the increased scrutiny that every immigrant in the country seems to be under, your marriage will end up under a microscope. Strangers who don't know you or your spouse will want to know the most intimate details of your life together.

The questions are designed to trip you up

Immigration officials generally begin the interview believing that your marriage is a fraud. It is up to you to convince them otherwise. To give you some idea of the types of questions you may be asked, consider the following: 

  • How did the two of you meet?
  • What does your bedroom look like?
  • Who attended your wedding?
  • What was your wedding like?
  • Does your spouse have any tattoos or scars?
  • Has your spouse ever been hospitalized?
  • When did you start dating?
  • What subway does your spouse take to work?
  • What was the food like at your wedding?
  • Where did you go after your wedding?
  • What did you do last night?
  • Where do you shop for groceries?
  • What day is garbage picked up?
  • Have you met your in-laws?
  • When did you last spend time with them?
  • Do you have cable?

These are just a sampling of the questions you may be asked. In addition, an immigration officer may sit outside your home or even visit your home to ascertain whether you actually live together. He or she may also talk to your neighbors and review any available public records.

You don't have to attend the interview alone

You and your spouse may be separated for at least part of the interview, but that doesn't mean you have to be in the room alone. You may benefit from enlisting the advice and guidance of an immigration law attorney who may also attend the interview with you. Considering the current climate regarding immigration issues, along with what you have at stake, experienced assistance may prove invaluable.

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