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3 Mistakes to Avoid Before the Green Card Interview

It is natural to be somewhat concerned, even worried, about how you and your spouse will perform at your upcoming green card interview. You want to make sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible without any complications.

It is not a stretch to think of your upcoming green card interview as perhaps the most important interview of your life. No other interview you are likely to participate in will have anything near the impact on your future, as the green card interview will. There are life-long consequences if you do a poor job of convincing the USCIS officer that your marriage is real and not some underhanded ploy to get a green card.

And unlike most other types of interviews, there is no dusting yourself off after an unsuccessful attempt and having another go at it a few weeks later. There are no second chances when it comes to this interview.

A job interview, on the other hand, that goes badly is at worse a disappointment, an inconvenience. You pick up your resume and simply shop it around to the next prospective employer. That may be disappointing and difficult to deal with, but it’s not a disaster and certainly not something that could potentially land you in jail or result in your spouse being escorted onto a plane so she can be deported back to her native country.

So unlike a bad performance at a job interview, if your green card interview goes badly, you simply can’t just pick up your application and paperwork and take it to another green card interview. To use a baseball analogy, this interview is your Game 7, a do or die contest where there really is no tomorrow.

And this is just not to alarm anyone who is scheduled to have a green card interview in the near future. It is simply a reminder that you need to approach the green card interview with the mindset of a professional intent on giving a great performance, someone who is going to enter the interview prepared and understands what their job at the interview is. In other words, not to simply rely on the assumption that the interviewing officer will instantly realize how much in love you are with your spouse. And this is oftentimes one of the first mistakes a married couple makes before the interview.

But there are a few simple things you and your spouse can do before the interview to make things go more smoothly on the day of your interview appointment. Lets go over them now.

Mistake # 1: Failure to Prepare For the Interview

As I just mentioned, this mistake is actually quite easy to understand. After all, if you’re happily married and are truly in love with your spouse then why would anyone think otherwise? How could they? What, you think I got married just so my spouse could get a green card?

So goes the thinking of many couples who think love conquers all, but the reality is that regardless of how honest and loving a couple thinks they are, they will undergo the same level of scrutiny and examination from the interviewing USCIS officer as any other married couple who sits before him at the interview.

So don’t fall into that same trap, that same faulty thinking. Prepare for the interview as you would for any performance-based event, because that is really what the green card interview is. You will be in a position where you and your spouse are going to have to prove that your marriage is truly valid. Making that case at the interview will require some work ahead of time.

Mistake # 2: Failure to organize your paperwork before the interview

One small thing you can do before the interview, which will be greatly appreciated by the interviewing officer, is to organize all of your paperwork so everything will be easy to find if you are asked for it. During the interview you want to keep your focus on answering the questions, not worrying about digging through a stack of miscellaneous documents hoping you find your joint bank account statement.

Just spending a short time establishing a rudimentary filing system for the interview will give you a great boost in confidence. You will know you have all of your important documents with you and you will be able to produce any document asked for easily and quickly.

Mistake # 3: Believing the Green Card Interview Is A Mere Formality

Sure, there are some lucky couples who will be in and out of their green card interview in fifteen or twenty minutes without any challenges or difficulties whatsoever. Hopefully, you and your spouse will be one of those lucky couples. But that kind of luck is not something you should count on. And even if ninety percent of all couples interviewed at these green card interviews had this kind of trouble-free experience, it makes sense to take out some insurance out on the ten percent chance that you and your spouse might be among those other couples that are not greeted by the USCIS with such warmth and hospitality.

The truth is that honesty and love is not enough to ensure a successful outcome at the interview. In a perfect world this would be enough, but during the green card interview couples must be prepared to make their case, to prove that they are not among that group of dishonest couples attempting to fool the U.S. government into issuing a green card based on a fraudulent marriage. And to be able to make that case without the opportunity for any second chances, preparation before hand is absolutely essential.

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