USCIS Wants to Know How You & Your Spouse Met Each Other
The government wants to know your love story.
One of the most popular accusations against immigrants who marry an American citizen is that the marriage only exists for legal reasons—to ensure that the immigrant can win permanent resident status. It's a cynical accusation, but it's at least based on a bit of truth: marriage is a valuable path to citizenship.
However, fooling the government into believing your marriage is real is not nearly as easy as immigration critics would have you believe. The New York Times recently published the sort of questions married couples have to answer (separately) to prove the validity of their marriage.
Here are just a few of the things an applicant would need to answer:
- When was the last time your spouse saw the mother-in-law?
- How do you enter the house?
- What train does your spouse take to work?
- What's the layout of your bedroom?
USCIS also has the authority to interview your neighbors and stake out your home to determine if your marriage is valid.
Red Flags Immigration Officials Look For
After decades of interviewing married couples, USCIS has a shortlist of immediate "red flags" that put certain marriages at a disadvantage. These signs include large age differences, different religions, a language barrier, and if one of the spouses has already tried the immigration process with someone else.
If an officer is not convinced of a marriage's validity, they'll give the applicant a notice of intent to deny. The applicant then has a chance to respond or file an appeal. Because appeals can be cost-prohibitive, our firm recommends having an attorney with you for the interview (which is within your rights).
Check out the article to see if you and your spouse would pass the test. Even if neither of you is applying for a green card, this is a good way to understand the sort of hurdles would-be citizens are facing.