When you married a U.S. citizen, you received a conditional permanent residence. This is the standard process for such marriages to ensure that those seeking green cards in the U.S. do not take advantage of the system by entering into marriages that are not valid. At the end of two years, if the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is satisfied that your marriage is bona fide, the government will remove the conditions on your permanent residency.
This is usually a routine procedure. You complete the appropriate forms and petition with your spouse for the removal of the conditions. If nothing in your petition alerts immigration agents that something in your marriage is suspicious, they may approve you without calling you for an interview. However, if you receive notice that the USCIS requires a fraud interview, you will want to know what to expect and how to prepare.
What you can expect
A fraud interview is a serious matter. It means that agents have suspicions about your reasons for getting married to a U.S. citizen. It may be a matter of some missing or inconsistent documentation, or it may be more serious discrepancies. This is not always a cordial meeting, such as a job interview might be. The interviewer may use harsh methods of questioning in an attempt to trick you and your spouse into admitting that the marriage is a fraud. You can help yourself by remembering the following suggestions:
- Dress neatly and appropriately.
- Bring all necessary and completed documents.
- Be prepared to have your interview in a room separate from your spouse.
- Be prepared for very personal questions about your relationship, your home, families and other aspects of your life.
- Remain calm, and do not get angry or insulted by the questions.
- Seek legal advice about any issues that may be difficult to manage in the interview.
- Do not sign any papers, especially any documents admitting to fraud, unless your attorney is present.
Agents may suspect your marriage is fraudulent if you do not speak the same language as your spouse, practice vastly different religions or do not live together, among other red flags. You will want to be ready to explain any factor that may seem unconventional in your marriage. It is important that you do so while remaining calm and polite. You may also find that having a Kentucky legal ally can provide you with assistance in preparing for your interview and dealing with any negative ramifications that may result.