Questions To Expect In A Green Card Application
The green card application process requires a number of forms to be filed by both spouses. These forms are designed to collect as much information as possible about the applicants to enable the U.S. government to decide whether the applicants are eligible for the green card. After confirming eligibility, the U.S. government will also determine whether the applicant is worthy of the green card.
The set of questions applicants may expect to answer during the green card application process can be grouped into three categories namely:
- Questions for both spouses
- Questions for the sponsoring spouse
- Questions for the spouse seeking the green card
This article breaks down these three categories to help you prepare for the green card application process. The questions listed here will only be a guideline to help applicants to understand the kind of information an immigration officer may require.
Read more: Different Ways To Get A Green Card
Set Of Questions To Expect For Both Spouses
Both spouses file different immigration forms during the marriage green card application process, however, these forms have similar questions. This set of questions establish the personal information of the applicants, their citizenship and immigration status, the validity of their relationship, residential history, and legal issues pertaining to their applications.
It is important to note that the answers to these questions have to be accurate and consistent with any other immigration documents with similar questions.
Personal information introduces the applicants to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services USCIS. This is basic information such as the applicant’s name, place of birth, current phone number, current physical mailing address, and email address.
If an applicant has any other legal names that they use, such as nicknames, aliases, and maiden names, they must include them under the Other Names category while filling the forms.
Evidence of personal information provided in the forms must be attached to the duly filed forms. Examples of evidence that may be presented include a birth certificate of the applicant or a valid passport.
Physical Appearance Of The Applicant
These are questions meant to describe the physical features of the applicant that can be used to distinctively identify them. They may include the following sample questions:
- What is your gender?
- What is your height?
- What is the color of your eyes?
- What is your race?
- What is your ethnicity?
The purpose of the residential history of the spouses is to establish their current location, their household size, the state where they live in among other information. Commonly asked questions about residential history may include the following:
- What is your current residence? This question may provide a different address from the mailing address. Current residence may also be outside the United States as in the case of the immigrant spouse living abroad.
- When did you move into your current residence?
- Where have you been living in the past five years?
- Have you ever lived together with your spouse as a couple? If yes, when and where was the last time you lived together as a couple?
Employment History Of The Spouses
Information collected from this set of questions is relevant for establishing the income of the applicants, hence their financial stability. Basically, the USCIS would like to verify whether the couple has sufficient sources of income to sustain their lives in the United States. They may include the following questions:
- What is your current employment status?
- If employed, when did you begin working at your current job?
- If unemployed, how long have you been unemployed within the last five years?
- Where else have you worked within the past five years? If applicable, when did you work at any of the mentioned jobs? (You may mention jobs that you had while abroad)
- What is your occupation?
Family History Of The spouses
Family history helps the immigration services to establish the applicant’s identity and citizenship. Some of the questions may include the following:
- What are the names of your parents? (If they changed their names, this information must be provided)
- Where were your parents born?
- Where do your parents live? (If they live in separate places, this information must be provided)
- Are both parents alive?
Status Of Citizenship And Immigration
Both spouses have to prove their citizenship or their immigration status. The USCIS may require a personal identification number provided to the applicants by the US government. These numbers may include any of the following:
Government Identification Card Number
This is the number given to a U.S citizen on the national identification documents such as the ID, driver’s license, social security card, or passport.
Alien Registration Number
This is the identification number given to non-US citizens and can be found on their permanent resident cards.
Social Security Number
This number is given to non-US citizens who are allowed to work in the US.
The USCIS requires that applicants must submit their criminal records, such as police records. Some criminal charges such as murder, human trafficking, and sexual abuse may disqualify the applicant’s eligibility to apply for a green card. These questions may be asked:
- Have you ever been arrested or charged with any crime? (This includes crimes that may have been committed outside the United States)
- Have you ever been arrested or charged for violation of U.S immigration regulations?
- Minor traffic violation crimes may be excluded
Set of Questions To Expect For The Sponsoring Spouse
These are a set of questions that a U.S citizen or a permanent resident may expect from the various immigration forms they are required to file. Other than the shared questions both spouses may expect, the sponsoring spouse needs to provide more information about their household members, financial information, green card applications, and their green card application process.
The USCIS will need to verify the number of household members and dependents the sponsoring spouse is responsible for. The questions may include:
- Do you have any children below 18 years of age and unmarried?
- Do you have any dependents claimed in your income tax other than your children?
- Are you a sponsor, joint sponsor, or household member sponsoring another green card applicant? If yes, how many affidavits of support have you filed?
Under financial information, the immigration services seek to establish the financial stability of the sponsoring spouse. Here are some of the questions that may be asked in that regard:
- What is your current income tax earning? (If the spouse seeking a green card is in the United States, their current income tax is also included)
- Do you have any financial co-sponsors or household members who are helping you sponsor your immigrant spouse? If yes, how much additional income are they contributing?
- Have you filed your federal income tax for the recent three years?
- What is the total value of the assets you have included to meet the minimum income requirements for the marriage-based green card application?
How The Sponsor Got Their U.S Citizenship
If the sponsor is a U.S citizen, they are required to verify how they became a US citizen. Here are some of the questions that a US citizen may be asked:
- Are you a U.S citizen by birth? If yes, do you have a birth certificate?
- Are you a U.S citizen by adoption? If yes, do you have a certificate of citizenship?
- Are you a U.S citizen by Naturalization? If yes, do you have a Certificate of Naturalization?
- Are you a U.S citizen through your parents being US citizens?
If the US sponsor is a green card holder, the following questions may be asked:
- Are you a permanent resident through marriage?
- What is your class of admission as indicated on the green card?
- Where were you first admitted to the United States?
Set of Questions To Expect For A Spouse Seeking A Marriage-Based Green Card
The various immigration forms that the spouse seeking green card files usually collect information regarding the immigration history of the applicant, their family history, their green card application eligibility, legal information, among others. Here are some of the questions that may be asked under different forms and categories:
Immigration History Of The Applicant
Some of the questions that may be asked to obtain the applicant’s immigration history include the following:
- What is your country of citizenship?
- Have you ever been denied entry into the US?
- Has anyone else other than your current sponsor ever applied for a green card on your behalf?
- Have you ever been to the United States before? If Yes, Where did you live?
- What type of visa were you awarded for your previous travel into the United States?
- What is your Form-I94 travel records number?
- What is the number of your passport?
Immigrant’s Family History
The family history helps the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services to establish the identity of the applicant. The questions also help the government understand the household size of the applicant. Examples of questions to expect under this category include:
- What are your parents’ last names according to the birth documents?
- What are the names of your children? If applicable, all children, including biological, adopted, stepchildren, children above 18 years of age, and your married and unmarried children, are included.
- What is the date of birth of each child mentioned above?
- Do you wish to apply for a green card for your children?
History Of Employment
Employment history information may be collected through the applicant’s responses to the following questions:
- Where did you work within the past five years? (include jobs outside the US that were not listed in the employment history section for immigrant spouses in the United States)
- What was your position, job title, or type of work in the last job abroad?
Set Of Questions For Green Card Applicants Living In The United States
Immigrant spouses living in the US must provide sufficient information about their immigration status. Examples include:
- Is your most recent entry into the US legal or illegal?
- What is the most recent type of visa that you used to enter the U.S? What is the passport number of the passport in which this visa was stamped?
- What was the admission type given to you at the point of entry?
- Were you admitted into the US through a visa waiver program?
- Have you previously applied for a green card visa? If yes, which U.S Consulate or Embassy did you apply through?
- What was the decision of a previous green card application through a U.S Embassy or Consulate?
- If you plan to travel abroad with your travel permit, where would you like to go and what is the purpose of your travel?
- What is your preferred mailing address for your travel permit?
- How many times do you plan to use your travel permit?
Family History Questions
Here are some of the questions regarding the family history of the green card seeking spouse living in the United States:
- Is your spouse currently on active duty?
- What is the date of birth of each of your previous spouses? (If you were in a previous terminated marriage or marriages)
- When did you get married to each of the previous spouses?
- If you have applied for a green card for your children, if any, what are their Alien Registration Numbers?
Set Of Questions For Green Card Applicants Living Abroad
Green card applicants living abroad have more detailed information that they need to provide to the US government.
The sample questions in this category collect information about where the green card applicant living abroad has been living since the age of 16 years. The information provided includes the addresses of each of the residences they have mentioned. The questions also establish where the immigrant would be living once they immigrate to the US. They may provide the physical address of the US residence they plan to live in and its current occupants.
Work History Of The Green Card Applicant
This category has questions that seek to create records of the work history of the applicant for the past ten years. The applicant will also give information on the type of work they have had during that period. If the applicant was unemployed within the ten-year period, they may need to give reasons why they were not employed. If the applicant has any special skills or training, they are required to mention them in the provided form. If the applicant served in the U.S military, or in any other country, it is also worth mentioning.
Medical History Of The Applicant
The foreign national is required to undergo a medical examination from a certified medical practitioner. Some of the medical questions that may be asked include:
- Do you suffer from any communicable diseases?
- Do you have proof of vaccinations received?
- Do you suffer from any mental health concerns that can be harmful to you or people around you?
- Do you have any history of drug abuse or drug addiction?
Immigration History Of The Applicant
Some of the sample questions this section may include the following:
- Do you currently hold more than one nationality, or held more than one nationality in the past? If yes, which other nationalities do you hold or held?
- Do you currently have travel documents and passports for the other nationalities? that you hold?
- If you previously held any US visas, have you ever lost them, or have they ever been stolen? If yes, when and where?
Marriage-Based Green Card Interview Questions To Expect
The green card interview is the final step of the green card application process. A successful green card applicant will be invited for the interview at the US Consulate or US embassy of the applicant’s country of residence. In some family-based green card applications, both spouses may be required to appear for the interview.
Marriage-based green card interview questions are unpredictable. The immigration officer conducting the green card interview will ask a set of questions that seek to verify the information given to them in the immigration forms and petitions filed.
The main purpose of the questions is to prove that the marriage is not faked or established for the sole purpose of attaining the green card benefits. Different applicants are asked different questions based on the information they provide. However, sample questions are commonly asked. Here are some of the questions to help you prepare for your green card interview.
Questions About How The Couple Met
- How did you meet each other?
- What do you two have in common?
- When did you officially start dating?
- When did you meet each other’s parents?
Questions About The Wedding
- When did you get married?
- What number of guests did you have?
- Did you go on a honeymoon?
- When did you go on a honeymoon?
- Who officiated your wedding?
- Which special guests attended your wedding?
Questions About The Couple’s Relationship
- Do you live together?
- Do you have children together?
- Do you have any children from previous relationships?
- When is your anniversary?
- When is the birthday of your spouse?
Questions About Family And Friends
- Do you have any mutual friends?
- Have you met each other’s, family members?
- How many siblings does your spouse have?
- Who is the best friend of your spouse?
Questions About Spouse’s Education And Employment
- Where did your spouse go to school?
- Where is your spouse working?
- What is the spouse’s position at work?
- What is the previous job of your spouse?
These green card interview questions prepare an applicant to know what to expect during the interview and may not necessarily be the actual questions an immigration officer asks during the interview.
As a general rule, whenever you need help with your green card application, it is always good to talk to an immigration lawyer. A good immigration attorney from a reputable law firm understands how the USCIS immigration system works, including any other government agency involved in processing your application. You can always count on their experience to help you prepare for the green card interview, and increase your chances of success.