Why I Practice Immigration Law for Couples, Part 2: Love Tension Is In the Air = Green Card Approved!

Let’s continue the story of how I was first introduced to the challenges of immigration when I became engaged to a foreign national and tried to bring him to the U.S. to marry. This is why I love to help couples in my practice, particularly U.S. citizens or Legal Permanent Residents who are trying to sponsor their fiancé or spouse for a green card. Read on…

Marriage-Based Green Card Interview Almost Leads to Breakup (No, Not Really)

On the day of our marriage-based adjustment of status interview with USCIS for my husband’s green card, we were so stressed out we had started arguing and almost were not speaking.

To prepare for the interview, we  had been quizzing each other on those pieces of information one spouse is supposed to know about the other – family member’s names, our birthdays (my husband still to this day never remembers mine), our favorite colors, where we went to school, what side of the bed we sleep on, etc. Just before our interview, an immigrant in the waiting area told us that the interviewer USCIS-greencard might ask us very personal, intimate questions.  My husband refused to answer THOSE type of questions. I of course was desperate for the green card to be approved, so I kept insisting that he just answer the question even if he found them intrusive or offensive. My husband was having none of it. In his opinion, it was not the government’s business to ask private details of married folks, and he was going to say just that if asked. The government could deny his green card but he did not care. He would just go back to his home country, he said. I was frustrated that he would not cooperate. He was angry that I would even consider asking him to answer such questions.

Angry beyond words = green card approved!

We definitely were not the picture of a loving couple. We sat with folded arms and tight lips – just awful body language. We glared at the interviewing officer, just waiting for a “none of your business” question. I just knew we were not going to pass the interview. But to my surprise, the immigration officer asked just three simple questions, none of which were personal, offensive, or intrusive. She then said, “o.k. I am recommending approval of your green card” to my husband, and that was it. “That’s it?” we asked. “That’s it.” I swear I think that she was convinced of our true marriage because we were so obviously frustrated with and ticked off at each other. How’s that for evidence of a bona fide marriage? (Disclaimer: I do not recommend or advise being angry with your spouse during a marriage-based immigration interview).

  • Mikef

    I can empathize with you on the tension and stress leading up to the interview day.  

    As you know, we just had our interview on 12/2/2011.   The days leading up to the appointment were filled with the preparation of all the documents and photo albums and contingency planning and figuring out who can pick up the kids after school if the interview runs late, etc., etc., etc.  Not to mention trying to keep all our normal business in order.

    I believe that really good preparation is the key.  There is no way to predict what may be asked in the interview.  With the help of your expert direction, I believe we had any and all material that might be requested in our hands for the meeting.

    And like you, we quizzed each other back and forth on those critical dates and important events in our lives.  I’m good with dates, my wife is not.

    Even so, I almost forgot the date of our anniversary when the interviewer asked me.  This was one of the first questions that I was asked and I almost blew it.  

    Having you with us for this interview was both confidence inspiring and comforting. After maybe fifteen minutes of questions and answers, I was almost shocked when the interviewer stopped and said, “OK, I’m recommending approval for your application, congratulations”.  

    The feelings we felt afterwards were of relief and thanks.  The uncertainty of the future of our family was removed.  No more worrying about what we were going to do if the applications were denied.  We were thankful for having you with us for this process.  It’s a day that will remain among the most significant in our lives.

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