Marriage fraud is when two people, who are not a couple, get married just so one of them can get legal status: what’s often called getting married for papers.

In 2014 an immigration and customs official estimated that between 5-15% of marriage visas go to sham marriages. That means that there are potentially tens of thousands of fake marriages a year.

In order to get a marriage visa, you need to be able to pass what’s called the marriage fraud interview. Here at Latino USA, we became curious about how difficult the interview actually is. So we set up a fake interview in which an immigration lawyer, Allan Wernick, would try to guess what marriages were real and which ones were fake.

In case you are wondering, here is the list of marriage fraud interview questions that Wernick gave us:

Development of Your Relationship
Where did you meet?
What did the two of you have in common?
Where did you go for dates?
When did your relationship turn romantic?
How long was it before you decided to get married?
Who proposed to whom?
Why did you decide to have a [long, short] engagement?
Did your parents approve of the match? Why or why not?

The Wedding
How many people attended your wedding?
Did each of your parents attend?
Where was the wedding held?
Was there music or other entertainment?
What kind of cake (or other food) did you serve?
Who were the bridesmaids/groomsmen?
How late did the guests stay?
Did the bride change clothes for the reception?
Did you serve liquor? What kind?
Did anyone get drunk or otherwise embarrass themselves at the reception? Who? Describe.
What time did you and the [bride or groom] leave the reception?
Did you go on a honeymoon? When did you leave? How did you get there? What airlines?

Regular Routines
Who gets up first? At what time?
How many alarm clocks do you set in the morning?
Who makes breakfast?
What do each of you eat for breakfast?
Does your spouse drink coffee in the morning?
Who is your spouse’s employer? What is the location of your spouse’s workplace? What is the name of your spouse’s boss?
How much does your spouse earn every month or year? How often is your spouse paid?
What time does your spouse arrive home from work?
Who cleans the house?
What day is your garbage picked up?
Who takes care of paying the bills?
Do you have a joint bank account? Where?
Do you have a cat, dog, or other pet? Who feeds it? Who walks it (or cleans its kitty litter box, cage, etc.)?
Do you and/or your spouse attend regular religious services? Where?
Where do you keep the spare toilet paper?

The Kids
Who picks up the children at school?
Who packs lunches for the kids?
What are their favorite toys/activities?
What are their least favorite foods?
Which children (if any) still use a car seat?
What is your usual babysitter’s name?

The Cooking
How many times a week on average do you eat out?
What is your favorite restaurant for special occasions? For weekly outings?
Who does most of the cooking?
Who does the grocery shopping? Where?
Is there a particular food that you eat every week?
What is your spouse’s favorite/least favorite food?
What color are the kitchen curtains?
Do you have a barbecue grill? Do you use it?
Is your stove gas or electric?

Other Family Members
Have you met each other’s parents?
How often do you see each other’s parents? Where do they live?
When was the last time you saw them? Where? For how long?
On important holidays, do you buy individual gifts for your parents-in-law? Do they buy individual gifts for you?
How do each of you get along with your parents-in-law?
How many brothers and sisters does your spouse have? What are their names?
Which other members of your spouse’s family do you see frequently? When was the last time you saw them? What did you do together?

Home Technology
How many land-line telephones are in your house? Where are they?
What type of cell phone does your spouse have? What is his or her phone number?
How many televisions are in the house? In which rooms? Do you watch shows together, or separately? Name one show that you always watch together.
Do you record any television shows?
Do you subscribe to a DVD rental or streaming video service?
What company provides your cable TV service? Internet service?
How many computers, laptops, or tablets are in the house? What kind are they?
Does your spouse listen to the radio? What station?
What kind of car does your spouse drive?

In the Bedroom
What size is your bed (Twin, Queen, or King)?
Do you have a regular mattress, futon, or waterbed?
How many windows are there in your bedroom?
What color are your spouse’s pajamas?
Who sleeps on each side of the bed?
What form of contraception (birth control) do you use?
When was your wife’s last menstrual period?
Where do you keep your toothbrushes? What kind of toothpaste, soap, and shampoo does each of you use?
Do either of you read or watch television before going to sleep? Do you have lamps next to your bed?
Have you ever had an argument that resulted in one of you sleeping in another room? Who, and which room?

The Rest of the House
Do you live in a home or apartment? Who pays the mortgage or rent? How much is it?
Do you have a garage? Who parks in it? Do you use a garage door opener?
Is there a carpet in your front hallway? What color?Is your sofa a regular one or does it have a pull-out bed?
Have you ever had houseguests sleep there?
What type of curtains or window coverings are in your living room? What color?
How many staircases are in your house?
How many sinks, toilets, and showers are there in your house or apartment in total?
Do you leave any lights on when you go to sleep at night?

When is your spouse’s birthday?
What did you do for your spouse’s last birthday?
What did your spouse give you as a present for your last birthday?
How did you celebrate your most recent wedding anniversary?
What religious holidays do you celebrate together?
What’s the most important holiday of the year in your household? Where do you typically celebrate it?
Have you and your spouse gone to see a movie or other form of entertainment lately? When, and what did you see?
What did the two of you do last New Year’s Eve? Fourth of July?
Who takes pictures at important family occasions?

Featured image: (Eneas De Troya/Wikimedia Commons)

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