Proving you’re not in a ‘green card marriage’

A so-called “green card marriage” is a marriage that was merely set up so that one person could get a green card and live in the United States. It often refers to a situation in which two friends will agree to a pretend marriage. One is already a citizen. Getting married makes it possible for them to seek a green card for their new spouse. 

Now, the government does want to keep families together. As such, they will give someone a green card after they marry a United States citizen. But they only want to do it in cases in which the marriage is legitimate. They may set up an interview to see if they think that the couple is actually in love or just “gaming the system.” Questions they may ask include:

  • What holiday traditions do you have?
  • Where did you meet for the first time?
  • Where did you go on your first date? 
  • Where did your spouse propose to you?
  • What door do you use most often when going into your house?
  • What is the layout of your bedroom?
  • How many people came to your wedding?
  • Have you met one another’s families, and when did you first do it?
  • Where do you tend to go out to eat the most? 
  • What types of routines do you enjoy around the house?

Some of these questions are very basic, but they’re things that a real couple could answer. If asked about evening routines, for instance, one person may say that they usually eat ice cream and watch Netflix. The other may say that they always go out with friends. Now, it’s true that they may do both, but this type of discrepancy is a red flag to the interviewer because they should both come up with very similar answers. 

All that said, you could make honest mistakes in an interview, under pressure, even while in a real marriage. Be sure you know your legal rights and have an experienced attorney’s help throughout your green card application process.