If an officer suspects that your marriage is fraudulent, you will have a meeting with the fraud unit. An officer will interview you and your spouse separately and intensively. The officer will then compare the results of your two interviews. Sometimes, truly married couples also get suspected because of their personal characteristics or lifestyle and may have to go through a fraud interview. People who do not seem to share a common language, have large differences in age, class, culture, religion, educational background, or who don’t live at the same address may be called for a fraud interview. You may also be called if your application missed facts that would prove a bona fide marriage, contains some inconsistencies, or presents grounds for suspicion.
You may be called for a fraud interview after your United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)(for Form I-485) or consular interview. You may also be called when you apply to remove the conditions on your green card to convert from conditional to permanent.
The questions are far more probing and intense. Such interviews are held normally only in the U.S. If you are called for such an interview while overseas, your U.S. spouse does not need to attend the interview, just you alone. If you get an advance notice of a fraud interview, it is advisable to hire an attorney. Even though an attorney does not have any power over the questions, he/she will be better prepared to deal with any follow-up matters.
You and your spouse will be put in separate rooms and asked an identical set of questions. The officer will then compare your answers to see if they match up. You may be pushed with questions until you make a mistake, confess to marriage fraud, or finally convince the interviewer that the marriage is real. If your marriage is a fraud, no matter how much you prepare, it is easy to not be able to answer some very obvious questions.
The interviewer may sometimes apply harsher tactics, such as falsely telling one person that their spouse has already “confessed” that the marriage is fraudulent, in order to push the interviewee into confessing. Sometimes, they may intimidate you, reminding you about the jail time and monetary fines if caught committing marriage fraud. An interviewer may also sometimes ask you to sign a document withdrawing the visa application or stating that marriage is a fraud. If your marriage is genuine, do not sign anything, ask to stop the interview, and then reschedule it with an attorney present.
While some officers may be kind and helpful, others may be rude or hostile. Under any circumstances, do not get angry . Respectfully answer the questions and answer honestly if you don’t know or remember something. Never guess or lie.
Bring a matching set of house keys if you live in the U.S.
If you and your spouse are living separately because one of you is in school, bring school transcripts and copies of documents showing that you often call or visit one another. If you are temporarily separated, get a letter from your marriage counselor or religious advisor confirming that he/she sees you regularly and is helping you face problems in your relationship and work them through.
Try to get the interviewing officer’s name in the beginning. If he/she does not say the name, you can read the name on the desk. It may be useful later in case you need to file a complaint, discuss the matter with a supervisor, or consult with an attorney.
Please use the following questions as a general guide to help you prepare for the interview. This is not an all inclusive list of all the questions that may be asked.
Development of Your Relationship
- Where and when did you meet for the first time?
- Could you please describe the first time you met?
- Did you make arrangements to meet again?
- Did you exchange phone numbers and/or email addresses?
- Where and when did you meet next?
- Where were you living at the time? Where was your spouse living?
- What did the two of you have in common?
- Where did you go for dates?
- When did your relationship turn romantic?
- Who proposed to whom?
- Why did you decide to have a long (or short) engagement?
- How long was it before you decided to get married?
- When did you decide to get married?
- Did you live together before marriage?
- Did your parents approve of the match? Why or why not?
You and Your Spouse
- What is your name, address, and date of birth?
- What is the name, address, and date of birth of your spouse?
- What did you do for your spouse’s last birthday?
- What did you give each other for your last birthdays?
- How often and what time do you call each other by phone?
- Which holidays do you celebrate together?
- What did you do together the last time you visited each other?
- Which of your financial matters are shared, or who supports the other financially?
- Do you and/or your spouse have any scars or tattoos? If yes, where on the body?
- Where do you work?
- What time do you or your spouse arrive home (whoever is working)?
- What are your working hours?
- What is your annual salary?
- Where does your spouse work?
- What are your spouse’s working hours?
- What days of the week does your spouse work?
- What is your phone number at work?
- What is your spouse’s phone number at work?
- Do you know your spouse’s salary? If yes, how much is it?
- Do you and/or your spouse attend regular religious services? Where?
- Do you have a joint bank account? Where? What kind of accounts (checking, savings, money market, etc.)?
- Are both of you listed on the account? As proof, do you have a bank letter or cancelled checks?
- Who takes care of paying the bills?
- What religious holidays do you celebrate together?
- What is the most important holiday of the year in your household? Where do you typically celebrate it?
- What did the two of you do last New Year’s Eve? Fourth of July? Thanksgiving? Christmas?
- How did you celebrate your most recent wedding anniversary?
- Have you and your spouse gone to see a movie (or any other form of entertainment) lately? When and what did you see?
- When was your last vacation? Did you and your spouse go anywhere together at that time?
- When did your spouse last take a vacation from work?
- When was the last vacation you and your spouse took together?
- Where did you go? How did you get there? Could you please describe in detail?
- Do you have any photos from your last vacation together?
- Did you file a joint tax return this year? Can I see the copy of it?
- Do you jointly own any property? If yes, can I see the copies of the documents?
- Do you have an insurance policy listing your spouse as the beneficiary? If yes, can I see copy of the same?
- Do you have any utility bills where both of you are listed together?
- Do you have receipts from items you have purchased together?
- What other documentation do you have to prove that you are living together as a married couple?
- What did you do for Christmas, New Years, your anniversary? Did you exchange gifts? If so, what kind of gift?
- Where was the wedding held?
- How did you and your spouse get to the church, temple, mosque, gurdwara, courthouse, etc.?
- How many people attended your wedding?
- Who were the witnesses to the ceremony?
- Did each of your parents attend the wedding?
- What kind of cake or other food was served?
- Did you serve liquor? What kind?
- Did anyone get drunk or otherwise embarrass themselves at the reception? Who? Describe.
- How late did the guests stay at the wedding?
- Did you exchange wedding rings? Did you and your spouse purchase them together or separately?
- Was there music or other entertainment?
- Who were the bridesmaids/groomsmen?
- Did you have a reception after the ceremony?
- If you didn’t have a reception, what did you do after the wedding ceremony?
- Where was the reception held?
- Could you please describe the reception?
- Could you please show me any photos of the wedding ceremony and/or reception?
- Did the bride change clothes for the reception?
- What time did you and the [bride or groom] leave the reception?
- Did you go on a honeymoon? When did you leave? How did you get there? Where did you go? For how long? What airlines?
- Where did you live after the wedding?
- Do you know your spouse’s family members? Which ones?
- Have you met each other’s parents?
- When did you see them last time? For how long? Where?
- Do you buy gifts for your in-laws on important holidays? Do they buy gifts for you?
- Which other members of your spouse’s family do you see frequently? When was the last time you saw them? What did you do together?
- How often do you see each other’s parents?
- How do each of you get along with your parents-in-law?
- How many children do you have?
- What are the names, birth dates, and birth places (hospital name, city) of each child?
- Which children were normal delivery and which ones were c-section?
- What is the name of your child’s best friend?
- Who prepares and packs the lunch for your children?
- What is your usual babysitter’s name? What are the day care timings?
- What is the name of your child’s teacher?
- Who picks up the children at school?
- What are their least favorite foods?
- Which children (if any) still use a car seat?
- What are the favorite toys/activities of your children?
- If your spouse has children from a previous marriage, what are their names, ages, where they live, and where they go to school, if applicable?
- Could you please describe the place where you lived right after the marriage? Number of bedrooms and bathrooms; furnishings; color of walls, floor coverings, appliances, etc.; type of air conditioning (window or central), heating (gas or electrical), etc.; number of telephones, TV sets, etc.
- Do you live in a home (single family, condominium, townhouse) or apartment? How much is the mortgage or rent? Who pays it?
- Who cleans the house?
- What are the trash pick-up days?
- Do you write checks for paying the bills or online billing?
- What color are the curtains in your house?
- What type of curtains or window coverings are in your living room? What color?
- Who gets up first? At what time?
- Do you set an alarm clock to get up in the morning?
- What do each of you eat for breakfast?
- How many staircases are in your house?
- Is there a carpet in your front hallway? What color?
- Do you have any pets? Which ones (such as dog, cat, fish, etc.)? Who feeds it? Who walks it or cleans its cage, kitty litter box, etc.?
- How many sinks, toilets, and showers are there in your house/apartment in total?
- Is your sofa a regular one or does it have a pull-out bed? If the latter, have you ever had guests sleep there?
- Where did you get the furniture? Was the furniture already there, did you buy it, was it a gift, or did it come from you, or your spouse’s previous residence?
- How was the furniture transported to the house?
- Who keeps the garage door opener in the car?
- How many remote controls are there in your house?
- How many cars do you have?
- Do you have a garage? How many cars fit into it? Who parks in it? Do you use a garage door opener?
- How many telephones are in your house? Where are they?
- Do both of you have cell phones? Do you have a family plan on the phones?
- Does your phone have an answering machine? Who checks the messages?
- Do you have a DVD player? What brand?
- Where do you rent movies from?
- Does your spouse listen to the radio? What station?
- Do you have cable TV or satellite dish?
- Who is the cable/dish provider in your house?
- Does your spouse listen to music? What kind of equipment does he/she have (such as a Walkman, iPod, etc.)?
- How many TV sets are in your house? In which rooms?
- Do you watch TV shows together, or separately?
- Name one TV show that you always watch together.
- Do you have a still camera? Or do you take pictures with your cell phone?
- Who uses the camera most often?
- Who takes pictures at important family occasions or during sightseeing?
- Do you have a camcorder? What brand is it?
- Who goes grocery shopping? Where? How often? How do you get there?
- What color are the kitchen curtains?
- Who makes breakfast?
- What does your spouse drink in the morning? (Such as coffee, tea, milk, etc.) If so, does he/she use cream and/or sugar?
- What is your spouse’s most (or least) favorite food?
- Is there a particular food that you eat every week? What is it?
- What are your favorite foods, and who cooks what?
- Do you have a barbecue grill? Do you use it? Is it gas or charcoal?
- Who does most of the cooking?
- How many times a week on average do you eat out?
- What is your special restaurant?
- Where is the garbage kept in the kitchen?
- What size is your bed (twin, queen, king)?
- Do you have a regular mattress, futon, or waterbed?
- Who sleeps on each side of the bed?
- Do either of you read or watch television before going to sleep?
- Do you have lamps next to your bed?
- Have you ever had an argument that resulted in one of you sleeping in another room? Who, and which room?
- What kind of birth control do you use? What brand do you use?
- When was your wife’s last menstrual period?
- Do you leave any lights on when you go to sleep at night?
- How many windows are there in your bedroom?
- Where do you keep your toothbrushes?
- Does your spouse use a regular toothbrush or an electrical one?
- What kind of toothpaste, soap, and shampoo do each of you use?
- Where do you keep your clothes? Where does your spouse keep his/her clothes?
- What color are your spouse’s pajamas?
- What is your favorite position (missionary, doggy, cowgirl, etc.)?
- Where are the bathroom towels kept?
- Where do you keep the dirty clothes?
Just before the interview
- Did you or your spouse go to work yesterday?
- If so, at what time did you and/or spouse leave the house and return?
- Did you eat dinner together last night? What did you have?
- Did anyone else have dinner with you last night?
- Who cooked the dinner last night? What time was dinner served?
- Did you watch TV after dinner? What shows did you watch?
- Who went to bed first?
- At what time did you go to bed?
- Did you have the AC, fan, or heater on?
- Who woke up first this morning? Did an alarm clock go off?
- Did you or your spouse take a shower this morning?
- Did you have breakfast? Where, and what did you eat?
- Did you come to the interview together? Who drove?
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