Questions to Expect in a Green Card Application
How to successfully navigate your immigration forms
The marriage green card process is long, but it doesn’t have to be intimidating. Knowing the types of questions to anticipate in your application will help you feel more confident before you even begin the process.
Please note that this guide is not an exhaustive list of questions that appear on every immigration form. It is intended only to familiarize you with the various types of information the U.S. government uses to evaluate a green card application.
Make sure to also check out our detailed guides to documents required for a marriage-based green card and questions asked during the final green card interview.
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Questions for Both Spouses
Throughout the application process, each spouse will complete different forms, but many of the questions will be the same for both spouses. You’ll want to make sure that your answers are consistent for questions appearing on multiple forms.
Although some questions, such as those about your physical attributes, might seem irrelevant, it’s important that you provide complete answers to help the U.S. government verify your identity and avoid processing delays.
BASIC PERSONAL INFORMATION
- What is your current legal name?
- What other names (aliases, maiden name, nicknames, and other legal names) have you used, if any?
- When and where were you born?
- What is your current mailing address?
- What is your phone number?
- What is your email address?
- Where do you currently live (if different from your mailing address), whether abroad or in the United States?
- When did you start living at your current physical address?
- Where else have you lived in the past five years, whether abroad or in the United States?
- When did you live at each address?
- Have you, as a couple, ever physically lived together?
- When and where did you last physically live together as a couple?
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires the following information, which does not affect the outcome of your application. The U.S. government will not discriminate against you based on these attributes.
- What is your sex?
- What is your height?
- What is your weight?
- What is your eye color?
- What is your race (white, Asian, black or African American, American Indian or Alaska native, or native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander)?
- What is your ethnicity (Hispanic/Latino or not Hispanic/Latino)?
- When and where did you get married?
- Were you previously married?
- Besides your current marriage, how many other times have you been married?
- What are the names of your previous spouses?
- When did your marriage to each previous spouse end?
- What are the current legal names of your parents?
- When and where were your parents born?
- In which city and country does each parent live?
- Is either parent, or are both parents, deceased?
- What is your current job?
- When did you start working at your current job?
- Where else have you worked in the past five years, whether abroad or in the United States?
- What were your previous jobs?
- When did you work at each previous job?
- Are you currently unemployed, or were you unemployed, at any time during the past five years?
CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION STATUS
If applicable, you’ll be asked to provide personal identification numbers assigned by the U.S. government, such as the following:
- Alien Registration Number (A-Number)
- U.S. Social Security Number
- Number on government ID card
USCIS will check for criminal records for both the sponsoring spouse (U.S. citizen or current green card holder) and the spouse seeking a green card. Certain criminal convictions can lead to disqualification of a sponsoring spouse or denial of a green card.
- Have you ever been arrested, charged, or convicted of any crimes (excluding minor traffic violations) in any country?
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Questions About the Sponsoring Spouse Only
The following questions appear on different forms, but all are primarily related to the sponsoring spouse (U.S. citizen or current green card holder).
- Do you have any unmarried children under the age of 18?
- Besides any children under 18, do you claim anyone else as a dependent on your tax returns? If so, how many?
- Have you filed an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) for anyone else before? If so, how many times?
- What is the current annual income earned by you and your spouse in the United States?
- Are there other people (your siblings, parents, or adult children) who will contribute their income to financially support your spouse (the applicant seeking a green card)? If so, how much additional income will they contribute?
- Have you filed a federal income tax return for each of the three most recent filing years?
- If you choose to include your assets with your earnings from employment to meet the income requirements for a marriage-based green card, what is the total value of your assets (bank accounts, investments, and property)?
PREVIOUS GREEN CARD APPLICATIONS
- Have you previously applied for a green card for anyone else besides your spouse? If so, when and for whom?
- Where were you living when you previously sponsored someone for a green card?
- What was the result (approved, denied, pending, or withdrawn) of each previous green card application on which you were a sponsor?
PATH TO U.S. CITIZENSHIP OR PERMANENT RESIDENCE
- Are you a U.S. citizen or green card holder?
- Did you become a U.S. citizen or green card holder (permanent resident) through adoption?
ONLY FOR U.S. CITIZENS
- Did you obtain U.S. citizenship through birth in the United States, naturalization, or your parents?
- If you weren’t a U.S. citizen by birth, do you have a Certificate of Naturalization or a Certificate of Citizenship?
- If you have such a certificate, what number appears on it, and when and where was it issued?
ONLY FOR GREEN CARD HOLDERS
- Did you become a permanent resident (green card holder) by marrying a U.S. citizen or green card holder?
- What was your “Class of Admission” (which appears on your physical green card)?
- When and where were you first admitted to the United States?
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Questions About the Green Card Applicant Only
The questions in this section are relevant only to the spouse seeking a green card and appear across several different immigration forms. The questions vary based on whether the spouse is living the United States or abroad.
Questions for all green card applicants
- Where and when did you last live outside the United States for more than one year?
- Where and when did you last work outside the United States, if you did not list that job as employment from the past five years?
- What was your job title at your last job outside the United States?
- What was your mother’s last name at birth (maiden name)?
- What was your father’s last name at birth?
- What are the names of your children, if any — whether biological, adopted, or stepchildren; married or unmarried; and living with you or elsewhere?
- When and where was each child born?
- Will your children be applying for green cards along with you?
- What is your current country of citizenship or nationality?
- Have you ever been denied or refused a visa or entry to the United States?
- Besides your current spouse, has anyone else ever applied for a green card on your behalf?
- Were you ever previously in the United States? If so, when did you arrive?
- What was your status when you previously arrived in the United States?
- What was your visa type when you previously arrived in the United States?
- When will your authorized stay in the United States expire, or has it already expired?
- What is your Form I-94 Arrival-Departure Record Number, if any?
- What is the name on your I-94, if you have this form?
- What is the immigration status on your I-94?
- What is your passport number?
- What is your travel document number, if any?
- When and in what country was your passport or travel document issued?
- What is the expiration date of your passport or travel document?
- Were you ever in immigration proceedings (including removal, rescission, exclusion or deportation, or other judicial proceedings)?
- When and where did your immigration proceeding, if any, take place?
GREEN CARD ELIGIBILITY AND ADMISSIBILITY
The questions asked in this portion of the green card application are too numerous to list in this guide. Briefly, this section asks about your involvement in any organizations or groups that the U.S. government may or may not deem threats to national security. It further asks if you have ever engaged, or plan to engage, in any type of illegal activity (such as human trafficking, money laundering, prostitution, and terrorism). Other questions include those related to your personal conduct, previous acceptance of public assistance benefits, and previous illegal entry to the United States, if applicable.
Questions just for green card applicants living in the United States
RECENT IMMIGRATION HISTORY
- On your most recent arrival in the United States, did you enter legally or illegally?
- What is the visa number, if any, from the passport you used on your most recent entry to the United States?
- On your most recent entry to the United States:
- Were you inspected at a port of entry and admitted as (for example, an exchange visitor, a visitor through the Visa Waiver Program, a temporary worker, or a student)?
- Did you arrive without admission?
- Have you ever previously applied for a green card through a U.S. embassy or consulate? If so, at which U.S. embassy or consulate?
- If you’ve previously applied for a green card through a U.S. embassy or consulate, what was the decision (approved, denied, refused, or withdrawn) and when was the decision made?
- If you wish to travel abroad and return to the United States on a travel permit, when and where is your trip, and what is its purpose?
- Where do you want to receive your travel permit?
- For how many trips do you intend to use your travel permit?
- Is your spouse currently a member of the U.S. armed forces or Coast Guard?
- When was each of your previous spouses born?
- When and where did you get married to each previous spouse?
- What are your children’s Alien Registration Numbers (A-Numbers), if any?
- Have you previously applied for a work permit from USCIS? If so, when did you apply, at which USCIS office, and what was the result (granted or denied)?
Questions just for green card applicants living abroad
- Where have you lived since age 16?
- When did you live at each address since age 16?
- At what address will you live once in the United States?
- Who currently lives at the address in the United States where you will live?
- Where do you want your green card mailed?
- Where have you worked for the past 10 years?
- Were you unemployed at any time during the past 10 years? If so, why?
- In what occupation do you intend to work once in the United States?
- Do you currently have more than one job? If so, what are your other jobs?
- What is your current work phone number?
- Have you ever served in the military of any country? If so, when and where, in what branch, and what was your specialty?
- Do you have any special skills or training?
- Have you ever attended a high school or secondary school or an institution of higher education? If so, how many schools?
- What is the name and address of each previous school?
- What was your course of study at each previous school?
- Did you receive a diploma or degree from each previous school? If so, what degree?
- When did you attend each previous school?
The spouse seeking a green card is required to take a medical exam in order to make sure that they do not have any conditions that could pose a threat to people in the United States.
- Do you have any communicable diseases that are a public health concern?
- Do you have documented proof of vaccinations you’ve received?
- Do you have a mental or physical disorder that could harm yourself or others?
- Have you ever been a drug abuser or addict?
- What other nationalities do you have or have you had in the past, whether you relinquished them or not?
- Do you have a passport or travel document for each of the other nationalities you currently hold or previously held? If so, what is the passport number or travel document number?
- If you were previously in the United States, have any of your U.S. visas ever been lost or stolen (if so, when and why) or cancelled or revoked (if so, why)?
- What is the year of death of either of your parents who is deceased?
- How was your marriage to each previous spouse terminated?
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