Green Card Interview - Family Based Green Card
Interview at the USCIS office is usually the last stage before you receive your Green Card. Please note that every case is different. The following information is not legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding your case, please contact your Attorney. Your Appointment Letter will consist of a very long list of documents. This is a generic list that covers almost every case and the USCIS sends it to everybody. You do not have to bring every document listed on your Appointment Letter. You are only required to bring the documents that apply to your case.
How long will my green card be valid for?
Family based green cards (non-marriage) are valid for 10 years. You can renew it or you can apply for naturalization, once you qualify.
- Arrive on time. Please allow extra time to go through the security.
- Make sure your cell phone is turned off during the interview.
- Dress appropriately – this is not a wedding but it is also not a Sunday barbeque at your neighbor's backyard.
If you did not submit your medical exam, you must bring you medical exam in a sealed envelope - you must not open the envelope. If you submitted your medical exam with your application, please discuss with your attorney whether it is still valid. The rules about how long your medical exam is valid for keep changing - in most cases, you will receive a letter from the USCIS advising you to bring a new medical exam, if the one you had submitted is no longer valid.
What documents to bring to the Interview:
You must bring original documents to the Interview. During the interview, the officer will compare the original documents to the copies that were sent to USCIS. Unless specifically instructed, you don't have to bring translations – they should have already been submitted.
- Appointment letter;
- Evidence of immigration status (US passport, Certificate of Naturalization, US birth Certificate or Green Card);
- Birth certificate showing familial relationship;
- Marriage certificate, if applicable;
- Divorce Judgment, if applicable;
- Tax Return for the most recent year, including Forms W-2, 1099 and copies of recent paystubs to show current employment.
- Applicant (person applying for the green card)
- All Passports (current and expired) with your visa;
- Birth Certificate;
- Marriage Certificate, if applicable;
- Divorce Judgments and prior marriage certificates, if applicable;
- Work authorization card (EAD), if applicable;
- Forms I-94, evidencing that you maintained your non-immigrant status prior to filing for the adjustment of status;
- Forms I-20 and evidence of school attendance, if applicable;
- Court dispositions, if applicable.
What types of questions will we be asked?
During a family-based green card interview at USCIS, the interviewing officer will typically ask questions to verify the information provided in the green card application and to assess the eligibility of the applicant for permanent residence in the United States. The types of questions that may be asked during the interview include:
- Questions about the applicant's immigration history, including previous visa applications or immigration violations.
- Questions about the applicant's family and marital status.
- Questions about the applicant's admissibility to the United States, including any criminal history, deportations or visa denials.
- Questions about the applicant's intent to remain in the United States and their plans for the future.
When will I know the decision?
This depends on the officer. In some cases, if the case is complete and the interview has gone well, the officer might tell you that everything looks good and the case will be approved once the final security clearances are completed. In other cases, an officer might take a more formal position and will simply let you know that the decision will be mailed to you. If there is something that the officer might require from you in addition to the documents that you have submitted during the interview, the officer will either give you a letter at the end of the interview or such a letter will be mailed to you. Please be sure to respond to such a letter within the deadline.
Before the green card can be physically issued, your priority dates must be current in the visa bulletin. If your priority date is not current, your case processing will be suspended until the priority date becomes current, at which time, the green card will be issued and mailed to you. To learn more about priority dates and the visa bulletin, click here.