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 can be daunting. However, understanding these steps is crucial for ensuring a smooth and successful experience. Here is an overview of the process and outlines the essential documents needed.

The Immigration Interview Process

Filing the Petition: The process begins when the U.S. citizen spouse initiates the process by completing and filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, to USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services). This form confirms the marital relationship and kicks off the process of enabling the foreign spouse to come to the U.S.

Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing: The method depends on the foreign spouse’s location. If they are in the U.S., they will adjust their Status by completing and filing Form I-485 or Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. They will undergo consular processing if they are abroad, which involves submitting the necessary documents to the National Visa Center (NVC).

Interview Scheduling: Once the paperwork is reviewed, an interview is scheduled. 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: This pivotal step requires both spouses to prove the genuineness 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: A copy of an authenticated marriage certificate is essential to verify the legal union.

Evidence of the dissolution of prior marriages: If either partner 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 provide the results as part of the application.

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. We can help you! Contact us.