Applying for a U.S. green card – to adjust your status from a non-immigrant to permanent resident status – can often be a complicated and arduous process. One of the biggest hurdles can be the fact that you may be noticed to appear for an interview with an immigration officer. The greed card interview is normally the most important step in the process of obtaining your permanent residency. Interviews have become fairly standard under certain circumstances and when immigration officers suspect foul play. For instance, an interview is almost always mandatory when you are applying for a US green card after getting married to a US citizen. This normally occurs after two years of marriage when the spouse makes an application to change their status from conditional permanent residency to a legal permanent resident. At Law Offices of William A. Proetta our immigration attorneys assist clients throughout New Jersey & New York including Edison, Jersey City, Elizabeth, Woodbridge, Piscataway, South Brunswick, and Perth Amboy. Contact our office today at (732) 450-8300 to learn more about how we can help you and your loved one with the green card process.
At the interview the immigration officer is allowed to ask personal and prying questions regarding your lifestyle including answers relating to both spouses’ applications (forms I-130, I-484, G 325 and I-864 Affidavit of support, etc.). Moreover, they may ask questions regarding the how and when you entered the United States as well as your purpose for immigration and you and your spouse’s life together. Therefore, it goes without saying that it is extremely important to be prepared for your interview if necessary. The immigration officers are normally concerned with entry into the country under false pretenses and whether the marriage is bona fide. Our immigration attorneys will review the process with you so you are properly prepared and make sure all your paperwork is in order to avoid difficulties from confusing questions during the interview. We will also accompany you to the interview to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
Fraudulent Entry into United States
Immigration authorities are constantly looking to make sure people did not enter illegally and that they entered the United States under the correct visa. For instance, an immigration officer may take particular interest in someone’s case if they entered the country with a tourist visa and married a U.S. Citizen a very short period of time after entry. If the government officer concludes that the applicant’s real intent at the time of entry was not to visit the United States but to become a permanent resident through marriage, then they will find that you are guilty of visa fraud under INA §212 (a)(6)(C). At this time things become much more difficult because they will most likely deny your application for adjustment of status, which will necessitate a waiver hearing. This means that the parties will have to go back on a new date after filling out a Form I-601 for 212(i) waiver. This can be used to overcome the bar of inadmissibility after an officer has determined that a fraudulent misrepresentation took place. Ultimately, if the waiver is successful then you will be allowed to remain in the country and ultimately get your lawful permanent resident status. However, this method should be avoided at all costs because it can be a difficult and high standard to prove including that your U.S. citizen or LPR spouse will face extreme hardship with your deportation. The advice and representation of an experienced immigration attorney can be a tremendous asset and can help you avoid treacherous circumstances such as these.
Proving Bona Fide Marriage
The second major issue that immigration officers investigate is whether there is any reason to suspect that the individuals did not enter into a bona fide marriage. The examiner will typically look for suspicious characteristics such as differences in religions, age, or language. If the couple does not satisfy the officers suspicions by providing sufficient documentation such as photos together, joint bank accounts, etc. then they will schedule a Stokes Interview pending the denial. This involves the couple coming for a new date where each spouse will be questioned separately about intimate details of their marriage and the answers will be compared by the immigration officer to determine the legitimacy of the marriage. Any differences in answers may lead to a denial of your application for adjustment of status to legal permanent residency. It is extremely important you are well prepared for your green card interview and you aware of the types of questions that may be asked. With the help of an experienced immigration lawyer you can often avoid complicated situations that may lead to a denial of your LPR application. Contact our office today at (732) 450-8300 for a free consultation with an immigration attorney.