If someone is a U.S. citizen and they have immediate relatives who are not citizens, those relatives may be able to use this to get a green card. The most common example is when one person is a citizen and their spouse is not. The marriage itself can lead to a green card so that the spouse can stay in the United States.
This may make you wonder if someone would pretend to be married just to get a green card. The government has wondered the same thing, naturally, and they have set up some systems to make sure this doesn’t happen. Often, it all starts with an interview. You and your spouse have to answer questions together, and the results let them know if they need to look into your marriage a bit more closely.
The questions just want to determine the authenticity of the relationship
The key thing to remember is that they are not going to ask you any questions with a right and wrong answer, per se. They want to see if the marriage is authentic, so they’re just going to ask questions that any married couple should answer in roughly the same way. That doesn’t mean you have to be perfect, but too many discrepancies are what will trigger a deeper review. Questions could include things like:
- Where do you live? Do you buy or rent?
- Where did you meet? Who was the first one to initiate conversation?
- Where did you go on your first date? Who picked that location?
- What do you do together on the weekends?
- Do you have any favorite bars and restaurants that you go to?
- Who takes care of the typical tasks around the house?
- What nicknames do you have for each other?
- How did you or your spouse propose?
- Where did you get married? Where was the reception?
Again, the answers don’t have to be flawless. If you can’t remember who picked the location for your first date, don’t worry. But if you get the basics wrong — if you say that you own your home and your spouse says that you’re renting an apartment, for instance — that’s the type of red flag that they’re looking for.
This whole process can be a bit nerve-wracking. Be sure you understand your legal options.