The Law Office of Carolina T. Curbelo, LLC

Ridgewood Location:

45 North Broad Street, 1st Floor

Ridgewood, New Jersey 07450

West New York Location:

6700 Bergenline Avenue West

New York, NJ 07093

Tel. (201) 379-4040

Fax (201) 379-4777

© 2020 by Curbelo Law. Website Design JKI MARKETING

How to Pass a Green Card Marriage Interview

Updated: Jan 16, 2019


Dear U.S. Citizen and Immigrant Spouse!

Congratulations on your marriage!

Marriage is a wonderful experience and the beginning of a long journey. When I married my husband, not only did I marry a naturalized immigrant, but I also got the best stepchildren in the process. For immigrant spouses, the green card marriage interview is the beginning of your journey toward the path towards U.S. citizenship.



What is the processing time for a green card marriage?


Honestly, it depends where you are filing for adjustment. If you live in New Jersey and are adjusting in Newark, it currently is about 9 months to a 1 year after filing the I-130 and I-485 concurrently or I-485. Today, I want to share some tips if you decide to go to your marriage interview:


Be on time. I recommend arriving at least 45 minutes to an hour before your scheduled appointment. You want to give yourself enough time to find parking, go through security and find the interview location.


Dress appropriately. Approach the marriage interview as a job interview. Be respectful.


Prepare supporting documents for your application carefully. Make sure to organize all your identity documents and all original joint documents in a binder. Don’t punch holes into your original documents. All original documents should be inserted into plastic protection sheets.


Speak when spoken to by the officer. Otherwise, keep your mouth shut. Don’t speak out of turn. Don’t answer for your spouse if the question is directed towards your spouse.


Listen carefully to the questions that the USCIS officer asks before responding.


If your interview requires the services of an interpreter, make sure to allow the interpreter time to interpret first before responding. If the interpreter is not clear or you do not understand the interpretation, make sure to let the interpreter or the officer know.


Don’t guess. This is not the SAT or a standardized testing exam. You don’t get credit for guessing facts or details of your life. And don’t make up facts!  Keep it real, if not you will be in deep trouble.


Never memorize things. If you don’t recall or remember a detail or fact, inform the officer that  “I don’t remember”.


Prepare supporting documents for your application carefully. Make sure to organize all your identity documents and all original joint documents in a binder. Don’t punch holes into your original documents. All original documents should be inserted into plastic protection sheets.


Don’t argue with the officer. If you think the interview is not going your way or the officer is not understanding you, be respectful. Please note that the officer will not provide a decision that day on the spot. The officer may determine that he or she needs more information or documentation before making a decision. In addition, the officer may need to re-review the file depending on the answers that you and your spouse provided during the interview.


Make sure to review commonly asked questions.


If you decide to hire an attorney, bring an immigration attorney, not an immigration consultant or notario. Immigration attorneys are authorized to represent clients before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and have the knowledge and experience of the U.S. immigration laws and regulations. If you decide to go without an attorney, make sure to read all information provided on the USCIS.gov website.


Final reminder: DO NOT LIE!  Lying constitutes fraud. There are serious penalties for committing marriage fraud. Tell the truth.