The I-751 petition is filed with the Immigration Service, with proof that the couple is living together, and also holding themselves out as husband and wife. You have to submit proof that you are living together, have joint assets and debts and have every intention of continuing to build a life together as a family.
After the USCIS reviews your filing, they also schedule an interview where both the husband and wife have to be attend. The officer can interview you together, or take you into separate rooms for the interview. They will ask you questions about how you met, where you live, and about anything that a married couple will know about each other. Our clients always ask us how they can prepare for the interview – you cannot, not really. If you are truly married, you will know the right answers. It is our job to make you comfortable enough so that you easily answer any question the officers ask you.
Over the years we have represented many families. We find that most couples are in fact happily married and only need help in preparing the petition and helping them prepare for the interview. Sometimes, due to work or family obligations, the couple has not lived or filed taxes together and also need guidance as to how to present their unique situation.
On the other hand, we have also helped couples where the marriage was not doing so well, sometimes people were already divorced, or had been separated for a while. In such cases, there are always concerns regarding domestic abuse or other criminal behavior. During those times, it was our responsibility to effectively represent our client and to help them navigate the immigration landscape. We have filed for waivers when needed and written effective letters and compiled evidence so our clients do not lose their green cards.