Green Card Interview is a required step for foreign nationals adjusting their status based on Spousal petition. The purpose of the interview is to verify personal information about an applicant and to confirm that the marriage is “bona-fide”. Below are a few tips to help you to prepare for your upcoming interview and better understand the process.
First, the location. Where your interview will be held depends on whether you are in the U.S., or abroad. If you and your spouse live in the U.S., your interview will take place at one of the USCIS field offices. If you are abroad and applying from your home country, the interview will be held at the U.S. Consulate.
While getting ready for the interview, refresh your memories and discuss with your spouse key dates and events in your life together. Collect all original identity documents. Examples include birth certificates, marriage certificate, government-issued photo ID, and passport. Assemble a package of new documents that prove the authenticity of the marriage (i.e. photographs of your wedding and other significant events, lease or rental agreement, utility bills, and insurance policies).
At the interview, try to stay calm and always be polite. The interview will be conducted by a USCIS officer who is specifically trained to conduct such interviews. If you are undergoing the interview abroad, it will be conducted by a consular officer. The goal of an interviewer is to assess the authenticity of the marriage and eligibility of the applicant for Green Card. All questions asked are intended to clarify and confirm personal information about you and your marriage. Some specific examples include:
About your relationships
- How, where, and when did you meet?
- Where did your first date take place?
- Where did your spouse work when you met him/her?
- Did your spouse have a car when you met? What model, color, etc?
- Did you and your spouse live together prior to your marriage? Where and how long?
- When did you and your spouse decide to get married? Was there a proposal? Who proposed? When and where did it take place? What was the proposal story?
About your wedding
- When did you get married?
- Who attended your wedding?
- Did you and your spouse go on a honeymoon? If yes, where?
About your daily routine
- Who pays the rent/mortgage? How is it paid? (Do you mail it? Hand-deliver it?)
- Which of you likes to cook?
- Which of you likes to clean?
- What type of work does your spouse do?
- Can you describe the pieces of furniture in your bedroom?
- What side of the bed do you sleep on?
About your kids (if you have any)
- How do your kids get to school?
- Who are their friends?
- What are their favorite foods?
- Do they play any sports? If so, what?
About your financials
- What is your spouse’s salary?
- Are both spouses’ salaries deposited into the same bank account?
- What bank account does your spouse use?
Depending on how the interview goes, one of the following responses will follow. If everything goes well at the interview and there are no “red flags” identified by the interviewing officer, the case should get approved.
Should the officer decide that presented documents are not sufficient to make a decision regarding the case, an RFE (Request for Additional Evidence) will be issued listing specific documents you will need to submit to the USCIS.
Sometimes, the officer is not able to make a decision regarding the case right away. In this situation, you will be informed that your case needs additional review, after which a notice informing you of either a final decision or additional steps will follow.
In certain situations, a second interview might be required. In this case, you will receive a new interview invitation notice. Usually, the purpose of the second interview is to discuss further specific aspects of your background and your marriage.
Lastly, if clear ineligibility is confirmed by the officer during the interview process, the case can be denied on the spot. This might happen if fraud in the marriage is identified or some other serious immigration law violations are established. In this case, you should look into an option to file an appeal.
Here are some DOs and DON’Ts to help you go through the interview process.
- DO prepare for the interview. Bring all necessary documents and review the information on your case forms before the interview.
- DO listen carefully and answer only the question that the officer asks you.
- DO bring an interpreter with you if you do not understand English.
- DO follow the directions of the USCIS officer.
- DO be prepared to answer personal questions.
- DON’T lie to the USCIS officer.
- DON’T argue with your spouse in the middle of an interview.
- DON’T make sarcastic comments responding to questions; particularly security purpose questions (i.e. drug dealing, communicable diseases, etc.).
- DON’T argue with the USCIS officer.
- DON’T refuse to answer questions, even if they seem inappropriate or too personal.
Green Card interview can be an intimidating process that makes many applicants feel anxious and overwhelmed. It is always recommended to have a knowledgeable immigration attorney to accompany you to your Green Card interview. An attorney presence usually provides additional support. The attorney might also be able to help you handle difficulties during the interview process, should there be any. At Root Law Group, we offer in-depth interview preparations with our experienced immigration attorneys that also are available to accompany you to your Green Card interview. Call us today at (323) 456-7600 to schedule your free in-office consultation!