At least once a week, I’m at USCIS for a marriage-based green card interview. The interviews always cover two main areas – the forms and the relationship.

In marriage-based case, the officer is trying to learn about the relationship and determine whether or not the marriage was entered into in good faith – that is, that the marriage wasn’t entered into solely for immigration purposes. They do that by looking at joint documents – photographs together, joint insurance, joint bank accounts, letters from friends and family. Documents are really helpful, but the story is what makes a case come to life.

The officer can ask questions about how the couple met, who introduced them, what the proposal was like, how many people were at the wedding, etc. I always advise clients to open up during this part of the interview. Anyone can say “we met at a party” but it feels more genuine when details are added. A better response would be something like “we met at my aunt’s 60th birthday party – he was with the catering company and caught my eye. Before he left, he asked me for my phone number. He texted the next day and we made plans to get together for dinner.” Of course, the details will be truthful!

Sharing these details with a stranger feels strange, but by adding some detail, it allows the officer to see more of a picture of your relationship. These details go a long way in showing the officer that you and your spouse are in a true, committed relationship. Plan on opening up a bit during these interviews and share your story proudly. By talking about your personal love story, your chances of success definitely become higher!

-Tracie