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Ways to prove your marriage isn't a fraud

When you married a U.S. citizen and took the first steps of your journey in your new Georgia community, you may have felt bubbly with joy and eager to lay a strong foundation for the family you and your partner hoped to have together. Life as a new immigrant in the United States can be quite challenging, to say the least. From learning to speak, read and write English fluently to adapting to new customs, it can evoke mixed emotions.

If you're one of many couples that the U.S. government has notified to appear at a marriage interview, things may get worse before they get better and you're able to feel like you can settle down and start enjoying your new lifestyle. If immigration officials want to interview you about your marriage, it is likely because they suspect you of fraud. The more you know about your rights and how to protect them, as well as ways to prove that your relationship is legitimate, the likelier you will avoid removal. 

Issues that flag your relationship          

In order to convince immigration officials that your marriage is bona fide, it helps to understand ahead of time what types of issues cause them to suspect that it's not. The following list includes signs the government considers suspect in a marriage between a non-citizen and a citizen:  

  • Is there a big age difference between you and your spouse? Immigration officials may consider that a red flag that you may have married for illicit reasons. 
  • Does your spouse speak your native language, and can you speak and understand English? If not, it's likely going to work against you at a marriage interview. 
  • If your relatives or friends are not aware that you are married, your interviewer may suspect that you did not tell anyone because your relationship is not authentic. 
  • If you got married after Immigration and Custom Enforcement agents tagged you for deportation, it will definitely raise concerns that you may have done so to avoid removal. 
  • Do you live with your spouse? If not, your interviewer is going to want to know why, because spouses living in separate residences is a red flag issue that suggests a fraudulent marriage.  

The best thing you can do is try to remain calm and bring as much evidence as possible to your interview that shows that your relationship with your spouse is legitimate. You'll also want to have all your immigration documents in order and easily accessible. You can bring photographs of your wedding day or honeymoon, if you had one, as well as greeting cards, letters or other correspondence between you and your spouse, or you and extended family members or close friends of your spouse.  

Be prepared to answer questions 

Questions during a marriage interview may be quite personal, such as telling the interviewer what color your bedroom walls are or what your spouse's eating or sleeping habits happen to be. The interviewer may even ask questions about your intimate encounters with your spouse. To understand more about what you should or shouldn't do during a marriage interview, it is helpful to speak with someone ahead of time who is well versed in U.S. immigration law and can give you pointers on how to increase your chances of success.

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