Marriage-Based Green Card Interview Preparation
In preparation of your permanent residency interview, we have compiled a checklist of things to do, items to gather, and interview questions to prepare prior to the date of interview.
ReviewWhen you filled in and mailed your immigration forms, you should have either made a copy, or if you prepared these with the assistance of an attorney, he or she would have mailed you a copy. If you do not have a copy, you should be sure to request one from your attorney. Spend some time reviewing the forms carefully to see if there are any errors, omissions or changes in the information and highlight these. This includes addresses lived, employment for years past, financial figures, and other immigration history. At the interview, the officer will review the information on the forms with you and your spouse and allow you to make any necessary changes. This is important because a misrepresentation can potentially have serious negative consequences on your ability to adjust your status.
Gather Basic EvidenceThe interview notice that USCIS sends you will have a list of basic evidence that you need to bring with you to the interview. You should bring the originals and a copy to give to the USCIS officer. These documents include your passport and I-94 card or other proof of lawful entry, your original marriage license, divorce decrees or death certificates for former spouses, birth certificates for yourself, your spouse and any children you may have, and certified court dispositions for any arrests or criminal convictions. Copies of these items should have all been submitted with your applications and petition, however you will want to bring the originals for the USCIS Officer to examine and in case anything got misplaced.
Gather Additional EvidenceYou will want demonstrate to the officer that you and your spouse married with the intent to share your lives. This can include evidence of shared residence (deed, apartment lease, utility bills), shared finances (joint bank account statements), shared responsibilities (car insurance, life insurance, medical insurance, joint loans and credit cards). Other evidence of a shared life may include birth certificates for children or proof that wife is pregnant or trying to conceive, joint gym membership, shared cell phone plan, photographs, cards, e-mails, texts that you have shared over the course of your relationship and detailed sworn affidavits from close friends or family members who know you both and can speak about the genuine nature of your relationship. In addition to this evidence, please bring the following:
a. Copy of all documents sent - I-130 application, G-325As, Affidavits, I-864 - ALL INFORMATION ON THESE FORMS MUST BE REVIEWED SUCH THAT EACH PARTY KNOWS OF THE INFORMATION OF THE OTHER SPOUSE
b. Formal, long form birth certificate
c. Passport, with an expiration date of no earlier than 6 months. Try to have more than 6 months before expiration
d. Updated Tax Returns, W2 and paystubs for petitioner
Attend InterviewAttend the interview on the scheduled date with your spouse. Arrive early, check-in at front desk, and dress professionally. The officer may separate the couple and ask similar questions about your lifestyle, how you met, and other pertinent relationship questions. After the interview is completed, the officer will either provide you with a RFE for more evidence, or verbally indicate his/her intent to deny, delay decision, or approve.