Understanding the Immigration Interview Process and Documentation Requirements for Marriage to a U.S. Citizen


Navigating the immigration interview process and meeting documentation requirements for marriage to a U.S. citizen is essential to the immigration process. Below, we provide a comprehensive overview of the process and outline the necessary documentation requirements.

The Immigration Interview Process

–   Filing the Petition: The process begins with the U.S. citizen spouse filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form establishes the marital relationship and marks the beginning of bringing the foreign spouse to the United States.

–   Pursue either consular processing or adjust status: Depending on the foreign spouse’s current location, they will pursue either adjustment of status or consular processing. Adjustment of status requires submitting Form I-485, while consular processing involves submitting required documents to the National Visa Center (NVC) from overseas.

–   Interview Scheduling: An interview is scheduled once the paperwork is reviewed. If the status is adjusted, the interview will be conducted at a USCIS office in the U.S. For consular processing, the interview occurs at the consulate or U.S. embassy in the foreign spouse’s home country.

–   The Interview: The interview is an essential stage where both spouses must prove the legitimacy of their marriage. The officer may ask questions about their relationship, daily routines, and plans to ensure the marriage is not solely for immigration purposes.

Documentation Requirements

–   Proof of U.S. Citizenship: The U.S. citizen spouse must provide proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate, passport, or naturalization certificate.

–   Marriage Certificate: Presenting an authenticated marriage certificate is essential to validate the legal union.

–   Verification of prior marriage dissolution: If either spouse was previously married, they must provide divorce decrees or death certificates to confirm the termination of any previous marriages.

–   Evidence of Bona Fide Marriage: This includes joint bank account statements, lease agreements, mortgage documents, utility bills, and photographs of the couple together. Affidavits from friends and family attesting to the authenticity of the marriage can also be helpful.

–   Form I-864, Affidavit of Support: The U.S. citizen spouse must demonstrate financial ability to support the foreign spouse, proving they meet the income requirements to avoid becoming a public charge.

–   Medical Examination: The foreign spouse must undergo a medical evaluation by an authorized physician and submit the results as part of the application package.

–   Identification Documents: Valid passports, birth certificates, and relevant visas or travel documents are required.

Understanding the immigration interview process and documentation requirements is essential for couples navigating the path to legal residency through marriage. Thorough preparation and comprehensive evidence presentation significantly enhance couples’ likelihood of a successful outcome. Seeking legal advice and staying informed about immigration policies are crucial steps in this journey. Call today!