Five Tips for Preparing Documents for Your Marriage-Based Adjustment of Status Interview

Posted 12 months ago. 17 helpful votes

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I'm often asked what type of documents are necessary for a marriage-based green card interview. Just as one particular couple's story varies from the next, the types of documents you have available will also vary. Read this informative guide for five tips on presenting the best possible case.

1

The Tax Man Cometh

Jointly-filed tax returns are best. While copies of your 1040 return are typically sufficient, an IRS tax transcript is official proof of what's been filed with the IRS. (For information of requesting transcripts, see "Additional Sources of Information" below). If, for whatever reason, you filed a return as "married filing separately" or "head of household," be prepared to explain why such a designation was chosen. Also be prepared to submit your spouse's tax return.

2

Home Sweet Home

Be prepared to show current and previous leases for all residences with your spouse. Whether you're in a rental or home ownership situation, submitting utility bills in either or both parties' names will also suffice as proof of a couple living together. These bills include: gas, electric, water, trash, cable, phone, etc.

3

Show Me the Money!

The commingling of finances is key. Prepare proof of a joint checking and/or savings account. If the account has been open for a while, and you're unable to get old statements, ask for a letter from your bank detailing the account open date and average balance.

4

Take my photo, please!

Any photos submitted at an Adjustment of Status interview will be kept in your USCIS file, so make sure you have extra copies. Photos should represent a variety of occasions: your wedding, holidays, travels, etc. Include photos of you and your spouse but feel free to also include photos with relatives and friends. Attaching photos to sheets of blank paper is a good way to present them. Adding captions with dates and locations will show that you really know how to present your photos!

5

Miscellaneous

Other legitimate proofs abound. Consider submitting proof of joint health, auto, and life insurance policies. If you're really lacking in documents, e-mails, texts, and chat logs can show the progression of a relationship. Finally, if you've traveled together, consider submitting itineraries and ticket stubs.

Additional Resources

Make sure to bring and submit copies of the aforementioned items. Don't expect a USCIS Officer to spend time making copies for you. It's best to make a complete copy for USCIS and an additional copy for your records. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website provides a helpful overview of the Adjustment of Status process (see link below). To request copies of your federal tax transcripts, see the link below. Transcript requests are often fulfilled within seven business days. Finally, be sure to check out and bookmark my law firm's website (see link below), updated frequently with the latest information in immigration law, family law and criminal defense.

USCIS on Adjustment of Status

IRS Tax Transcript

Livesay & Myers, P.C. Website

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