3 Tips For Your Foreign Spouse's Visa Interview

Did you recently marry someone who is a citizen of a country other than the United States? Are you in the process of filing a family petition so he or she can get get a green card and join you in the states? Many people believe that visas are automatic after marriage. The truth is that there are still a number of steps that you and your spouse must take. One of the final and most important steps is an interview with a U.S. consulate in your spouse's home country. The purpose of the interview is to determine whether your relationship is real or whether it is ruse to gain admission to the United States. Even if you are in a sincere and loving relationship, the interview can still be a nerve-wracking experience. Here are a few tips to help your spouse ace the interview:

Bring all relevant documents. By the time you and your spouse get to the interview stage, you will likely have already submitted a large number of documents to the State Department. Those documents could include your original family petition, your wedding license, any financial statements that show that you have combined financial accounts, any documentation of shared property purchases, and anything else that will validate your marriage. Even though you may have already submitted these documents, you and your spouse should also bring them to your interviews.

By having them ready and being willing to hand them over, you'll show the interviewing agent that you have nothing to hide. That will set a good tone for the meeting and will let them know that you're eager to help them with any information they need.

Have details about your wedding and your planned living situation. The first few questions of the interview will likely cover formalities, like name, address, date of birth, and more. After that, though, the agent may ask questions about the wedding and your future together to determine the legitimacy of the relationship. He or she may want to know things like how many guests were at the ceremony, what food you served, and where you honeymooned. Again, the reason is to determine that a wedding actually took place. If you want bring pictures of the ceremony to share with the agent and further validate your relationship.

Acknowledge any discrepancies. There are some things that will likely catch the attention of the interviewing agent. For example, if there is a large age difference between the two of you, the agent may want to discuss that. He or she may wonder if the marriage is some kind of arrangement for citizenship. There's nothing wrong with having an age difference. However, be prepared to address the topic.

Another discrepancy may be if one partner brings substantial financial assets into the marriage while the other has little or none. Again, this isn't necessarily a bad thing, but you should expect for the agent to ask you about it.

For more information, talk to an immigration attorney before the interview. They can help you prepare and practice your answers so you and your spouse are ready to go on interview day.