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Show up at your marriage interview well-prepared

You have hopes and dreams about someday becoming a U.S. citizen. However, you understand it's a process, and when you married your spouse, you were happy that you could apply for a marriage-based visa and come to Colorado. Now, you must appear at a marriage interview and you're feeling nervous. That's understandable since your interviewers can greatly influence your ability (or inability) to stay in the United States.

Any type of immigration interview can be highly stressful. However, a marriage interview is especially so because it seems so personal. The better prepared you are, the less stressful it might be. It pays to speak with someone who has already gone through a similar experience, and also to know where to seek outside support, as needed.

Things to do and not do

There are definitely ways you can prepare for a marriage interview to increase your chances of obtaining a positive outcome. There are also things you'll want to avoid that can cause an immigration official to question the legitimacy of your marital relationship. The following list includes helpful tips that may apply to your situation:

  • Your immigration marriage interview is not the time to have memory lapse regarding your relationship history with your spouse. It's critical that you are able to tell your story, including details about how you met, how long you dated or even where you went on your first date.
  • Many say that opposites attract, which might be true to a certain extent. However, it is highly likely that your interviewer will expect you to be able to list numerous things you and your spouse have in common, such as hobbies, music interests, taste in food or enthusiasm for specific sports or other activities.
  • If you didn't date very long, your interviewer may want to know more, such as what prompted you to marry someone you had known for so little time.
  • The interviewer will closely observe you while you provide answers to questions. The calmer, more confident you can come across, the better.
  • Various documents can help you prove that your marriage is legitimate. Always arrive prepared to show a marriage certificate, your immigration paperwork and any other documents that might be pertinent to the topic.
  • Dress nicely, in a conservative fashion and appear clean and well-groomed.
  • If you don't know the answer to a question, say so. Never try to conceal your lack of knowledge by twisting words or telling a lie.

If all your paperwork is in order and you are able to answer personal questions about your spouse, such as issues regarding typical meal times, place of employment, bed times, as well as names of relatives, everything will likely turn out fine. If a problem arises and the interviewer flags your case for suspected fraud, things may get a lot worse before they get better. This is why it's always good to carry names and numbers of people who can offer legal support at any time.

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