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00Pepper
05-21-2014, 12:42 AM
My MC's best friend from childhood was raised in the US illegally and doesn't find out he's illegal until he's an adult. My MC marries him in order to help him obtain his residency and pursue naturalization.

Do the interviews/interrogations of the fiance/spouse really happen the way you see in the movies? For example The Proposal. Would my MC actually have to have an intimate, sexual relationship with him in order to verify details she might not know otherwise?? She's his best friend so she knows pretty much everything else about him.

CEtchison
05-21-2014, 01:00 AM
Not sure if it's changed much in the past 15 years, but my husband's friend was repeatedly questioned by INS when he married his wife. She originally came to the US on a student visa and they fell in love. He married her so she didn't have to return home. Can't remember her home country, only that it was previously part of the Soviet Union. I remember them saying that it was a lot like the movie "Green Card" where they were repeatedly brought in for questioning. As to how intimate the questions are, I'm not sure.

I know some other friends of ours (she came into the US illegally), were still fighting INS after the birth of their second child, which would IMO be proof of an intimate relationship. lol

00Pepper
05-21-2014, 01:04 AM
Not sure if it's changed much in the past 15 years, but my husband's friend was repeatedly questioned by INS when he married his wife. She originally came to the US on a student visa and they fell in love. He married her so she didn't have to return home. Can't remember her home country, only that it was previously part of the Soviet Union. I remember them saying that it was a lot like the movie "Green Card" where they were repeatedly brought in for questioning.

Oh wow! I wonder which level is harder to obtain, residency or naturalization, in terms of how closely they scrutinize you.

My fiance already had his green card when I met him and became a naturalized citizen after we were together. I was never questioned but then again we weren't married.

Trebor1415
05-21-2014, 03:01 AM
I saw this recently and it might help

http://www.buzzfeed.com/leonoraepstein/could-you-and-your-partner-pass-a-us-immigration-marriage-in

mfarraday
05-21-2014, 07:27 AM
We had our green-card interview after we got married and my husband applied for his card. The questions were not intrusive, but I don't even really remember what they asked. I brought our silver-velvet-and-glass-framed photo album and showed them pictures - pages and pages - of our beautiful wedding. I'm sure after that they'd had enough of me. They never asked us back again.

00Pepper
05-21-2014, 05:12 PM
I saw this recently and it might help

http://www.buzzfeed.com/leonoraepstein/could-you-and-your-partner-pass-a-us-immigration-marriage-in

Thanks! That was helpful. Makes me wonder if DF and I had gotten married before he was naturalized if we would have been interviewed and what they would have asked us.


We had our green-card interview after we got married and my husband applied for his card. The questions were not intrusive, but I don't even really remember what they asked. I brought our silver-velvet-and-glass-framed photo album and showed them pictures - pages and pages - of our beautiful wedding. I'm sure after that they'd had enough of me. They never asked us back again.

LOL Love it!

Cath
05-21-2014, 05:20 PM
No. They question to make sure you're not abusing immigration rules to get a permanent resident visa. If he already had a permanent resident visa, there's no need for an interview.

I suggest you look for some more information on Google. There's really quite a lot out there. For example, googling "what questions will be asked in an immigration interview" returns plenty of results (https://www.google.com/#q=what+questions+will+be+asked+in+an+immigration+ interview).

MDSchafer
05-22-2014, 12:10 AM
I wasn't planning on posting in this thread, but I came across this story during my normal Kenya search and thought you might find it useful.

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Marriage-fraud-had-base-in-Kenya-women-in-Houston-5488033.php

Also, I know its something that the author of Eat Pray Love has spoken about. There was some deal with bringing her husband into the country legally. I'm not sure what exactly.

WeaselFire
05-23-2014, 04:52 AM
Had a friend who's sister married an Iranian so he wouldn't be sent back to Iran just after the revolution and Khomeni taking control. The guy was a distant relative of the Shaw and feared repercussions, they married without any real fanfare and he really only had a few issues because his student visa ran out and he hadn't returned. At the time, the explanation of being Iranian was enough for the government to let it slide and grant him a permanent status.

I got interviewed as I was named on his application, the questions were basically about whether or not they were married legitimately, her pregnancy at the time and whether I knew of any reason the application should be denied. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary and it was passed over pretty easily.

More recently I was interviewed about a co-worker who married a guy who actually was illegally in the country. She was a legal Cuban immigrant, he was Guatamalan and had come to the States with his parents then stayed when they left. That one got pretty detailed, INS (at the time) was investigating as to whether or not to deport her along with him. The part that did him in was a petty criminal record as a juvenile while his parents were here and he was deported. Last I knew they were still married and he was still trying to immigrate legally, lots of money and lawyers involved.

For your story, some things will depend on where he is from and what he has been doing. Others may be part of the politics of the day and which people are doing the investigation. At any rate, you can easily write in some decent conflict for your story.

Jeff

J.Emerson
05-23-2014, 05:16 AM
My MC's best friend from childhood was raised in the US illegally and doesn't find out he's illegal until he's an adult. My MC marries him in order to help him obtain his residency and pursue naturalization.

Do the interviews/interrogations of the fiance/spouse really happen the way you see in the movies? For example The Proposal. Would my MC actually have to have an intimate, sexual relationship with him in order to verify details she might not know otherwise?? She's his best friend so she knows pretty much everything else about him.

Oh hey, this one I've done personally.

So let's see, first thing that pops out at me - if INS realizes he was here illegally, often they will make him leave the country for a prescribed period of time then request to re-enter again, in a legal manner. My mom had a good friend who was here and married to a citizen for a few years, then something came up about her initial entry into the country and she was forced to go back to Georgia (the Russian one) for a year before she was able to request re-entry, despite being married to a citizen. She was allowed to come back after that and her greencard is current now. I'm sure in your story you can get the INS to make an exception for your character to get around this, but just FYI, that's an issue.

Second, yes, the interviews and information they require are intensive and invasive. My ex-husband and I waited eighteen months after we were married before he applied for his greencard (he had been here on a student F1 visa ever since he was 10). At that point I was seven months pregnant with my daughter. Despite being pregnant with his child (and married for awhile already), they still grilled us. It wasn't quite as bad as the scene in that movie Green Card with Depardieu, but it was still pretty intense. So yes - your characters will need to work hard to establish what appears to be intimacy. I also remember putting together a photo album to establish our time together. I had actually known him all through high school and college, but it was still tough to find enough pictures to make them happy.

Also worth noting, if they apply for the greencard before they have been married for two years, they have to go through the whole process twice. Anything before two years is a temporary greencard (which is an additional two years). At the end of the temp greencard you can apply for the permanent one, at which point there are new interviews. In theory they could deny the permanent greencard at that point. Being divorced already by that time may mean the greencard gets denied.

Putputt
05-23-2014, 11:41 AM
Mr. Putt is British. I'm American. We live in the UK, so we applied for me to get British citizenship. Based on our experience, the most important things were:

-To show that either one of us (but preferably both) have sufficient funds or a stable career so that I don't end up on welfare.
-To prove that we're actually in a relationship. Fortunately this was easy because I took tons of pictures over the course of us dating, including pics of us on vacation etc. I put the pictures into an album complete with captions that aren't too serious (e.g. "The first time I beat him at a board game."). I also included things like cards that our friends gave us when we got married or for our birthdays. Anything which shows that we've had an ongoing relationship with each other for the past few years. Since this is your MC's childhood best friend, I think it would be easy for her to compile things like that to prove that they do have a relationship with each other.

There was no interview process, everything went by very smoothly for us. :)

ETA: We also did little things like put the application and all related materials in a folder with every section clearly separated and labeled. e.g. "Marriage certificate", "passport", "proof of residence", "photos from dating", "photos from wedding", "bank account details" etc. When we handed in the application, the officer actually laughed and said she'd never seen such an anally put together application before, and she wished every applicant would do the same. :D