Helpful Interview Tips at the U.S. Consulate
Lately, the biggest complaint we are getting from our marriage and fiancé-based visas is that the visa interview is turning into an interrogation. It is likely because immigration officials cite to India as one of the leading countries where they detect and prosecute individuals for marriage fraud. Of course, a well-documented marriage generally allows for an easier interview process; however, the general tips below are a quick observation of some of the methods or questions interviewing officers use to potentially deny a case based on the lack of bona fides of a marriage:
New Questions that seem to be reoccurring at the visa interview in Mumbai:
1. What are you spouse’s favorite activities in the United States?
2. What are your spouses’ friends’ names?
3. How do you communicate with your spouse? (If you use WhatsApp, be ready to show the officer your conversations from the phone if they ask for it)
4. How long did your spouse stay here in India after you guys got married?
5. Where does your spouse work in the U.S.?
1. Gone are the days where you can simply plop your wedding album down and try to impress the officer with an array of photos. Make sure your photos look genuine where people actually are dressed nicely and you can easily identify who the guests were. Recently, in our appeal cases where clients initially hired immigration consultants, but the case was denied, we’ve seen a lot of denial letters where the officer stated the wedding pictures didn’t look genuine.
2. Properly document the wedding expenditures. Usually, temples don’t have a sophisticated receipt system but make sure to ask for one if it is possible. A few of our cases last year the officers asked for catering receipts and confirmation from the temple that a wedding took place.
3. A good rule of thumb is that anytime you spend over $500 while in your spouse’s home country, keep the receipt and make sure to include it in an organized manner to present to the officer.
4. Make a wedding guest list of the attendees and state their phone numbers and addresses. This is a standard question that usually gets asked if there is a suspicion on the marriage. This list doesn’t need to include every single person that showed up at your wedding but includes the names and contacts of solid people within your wedding day that will go to bat for you.
5. If this is your second marriage or there is a major gap in your spouse’s age, double the amount of evidence you should take to the visa interview.
The lists above are in addition to the standard interviewing questions that we’ve seen for the last ten years. We hope anyone that attends their visa interview.