You have decided to enter the wonderful world of marriage where all that matters is love.
That may not be the case if your marriage also involves filing for permanent residency (green card) based on your marriage to a U.S. Citizen. You may even find it surprising or perhaps troubling that immigration (USCIS) looks at your marriage with a certain degree of suspicion. Is your marriage real or did you enter the marriage for purposes of obtaining a green card? How do they make this determination? What is the process?
I’ll go through the process in New York City a nutshell.
First, the applications are filed.
The applicant will then be called for a biometrics appointment. (Fingerprints, etc)
Thereafter, the applicant and the U.S. Citizen spouse are called in for an interview.
Wow . . . sounds simple enough. However, that’s not the entire comprehensive process. The applicant should prepare all relevant documents evidencing their bona fide marriage. Make sure the documents clearly evidence the bona fide marriage. Don’t show up with a minimum of documents.
Is a lawyer necessary to process the paperwork for a marriage based green card application and/or to go to the immigration interview?
Look, this may sound like a sales pitch, but I could try to explain why it is important. However, instead let me ask another question. Do you think this process (meaning the green card) is an important event in your life? If the answer is yes, then you should strongly consider hiring a lawyer. The truth is you have likely never gone through this process. Lawyers on the other hand like myself have likely gone to hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of interviews. We all know repetition is the key to success. How does an athlete become an elite pro athlete . . . . through repetition. Don’t take the silly position that if you show up with a lawyer, immigration could interpret that to mean you have something to hide. It’s absurd. We are a country of laws. We have brave military personnel that have died to protect our constitutional rights. Exercise these rights!!!!!! Use it or lose it.