Eight types of questions asked at an employment Green Card interview

Immigrant employee standing outside of his workplace

Employment Green Card interviews are relatively new as the Trump administration made in person interviews a requirement in 2017. Before 2017, Green Card employment interviews were not required as the applicant would receive the Green Card in the mail. 

During your employment Green Card interview, the USCIS adjudications officer will want to learn about you and your history in the United States. But the primary focus will be on your work history. USCIS officers usually start with basic biographical questions based on your adjustment of status petition.

1. Starting with basic background questions

The officer will attempt to verify basic background information you already provided in your application documents, such as your Form I-140 and Form I-485. These questions could include:

  • What is your full name?
  • What is your date of birth?
  • Where were you born?
  • What are the names and ages of your parents?
  • When did you first arrive in the United States?
  • Why did you come to the United States?
  • What are the addresses where you have lived?  
  • What is your current address?
  • What is your social security number?
  • Are you married?
  • How long have you been married?
  • Do you have children? 
  • How old are your children? 
Screenshot from the form i-140 about the general information

2. Prepare your spouse and children 

Your spouse and children can be interviewed by the adjudications officer. In general, they will need to provide basic identification documents. Children under 14-years old are rarely asked any questions. 

When it comes to your spouse, the officer will focus on the legality and authenticity of your marriage. 

  • Where did you meet?
  • When were you married?
  • Is your marital residence owned or leased jointly?
  • Are the household bills paid individually or jointly?
  • Are you employed?
  • Where are you employed?
  • How much do you earn?
  • What is your spouse’s educational background?
  • What is your spouse’s work history?
  • Who is the sponsoring employer?
  • When did your spouse begin working for the sponsoring employer?
  • What does your spouse do for the sponsoring employer?
  • How much is your spouse paid by the sponsoring employer?

Helpful Tip: For more information on the type of questions that the adjudications officer could ask your spouse, see our list of marital interview questions.

3. Questions about your criminal history

Red brick wall behind the jail bars

A criminal record may make you ineligible to receive a Green Card. Evidence that you committed a serious crime is a basis to deny your application. Some questions you can expect:

  • Have you been ever arrested outside the United States?
  • Where were you arrested? 
  • What were the circumstances surrounding your arrest?
  • Were formal criminal charges filed against you?
  • How were the charges resolved?
  • Have you ever been arrested inside the United States?
  • In what state were you arrested?
  • What were the circumstances surrounding your arrest?
  • Were formal criminal charges filed against you?
  • How were the charges resolved?
  • Have you ever violated a local or municipal law?
  • What was the nature of the violation?
  • Did it require a court appearance?
  • What was the result of the court appearance?

4. Can you become a public charge?

The adjudications officer will seek to verify that you can support yourself without federal or state government assistance. Some questions could include:

  • Did you enter the United States as a student?
  • As a student, how did you support yourself?
  • Have you ever received federal or state government benefits?
  • When did you receive these benefits?
  • Why did you need assistance?
  • How do you support your spouse and dependents?
  • Have you ever needed financial assistance to support your family?
  • Who provided the assistance?
  • Does your spouse need to work to support your family?
  • Do you have health insurance?
  • Who pays for your health insurance?
  • Do you owe any money to the IRS?
Hands counting coins during the financial struggle

Helpful tip: For more information on the details of the public charge regulations, see our article on public charge.

5. Do you have a USCIS-authorized employment record?

You should be prepared to talk about your employment history both in the United States and abroad. The adjudications officer will also attempt to determine whether you performed any unauthorized work while you were in the United States.

  • What was your most recent employment outside the United States?
  • What is your employment history in the United States?
  • What are the addresses of your past employers?
  • Have you ever worked unauthorized in the United States?
  • Were you ever paid after your OPT status expired?
  • Did you ever get a tax ID number?
  • Did you ever use the number to work?

Helpful tip: For more information on the dangers of inconsistencies between visa applications and US CIS forms of employment history, see our article on the 6 reasons Emplyment-Based Green Cards are Denied.

6. Questions about your job qualifications for the employment-based sponsorship

You will need to show that you are qualified for the position offered by your sponsoring employer. 

  • What is your educational background?
  • Did you have any training in a specialized field?
  • How did you hear about the sponsoring employer?
  • Are you related to the employer?
  • Did you ever work for your sponsoring employer and, if so, what was your job title?
Employee working on the computer in the office

The adjudications officer will also review your job history and qualifications in your Form ETA 9089 to make sure your answers are consistent.

7. More in-depth questions about your job duties

You will be questioned about your present job duties as outlined in your I-140 Petition.

  • Are you presently working for your sponsoring employer?
  • Under what immigration status are you working?
  • What is your job title?
  • What are your job duties?
  • What is your salary?
  • Can you prove your employer can pay your salary?
  • Will your salary increase once you receive permanent residency?
  • Will your job title change when you receive your Green Card? 
  • What job duties will you perform when you receive your Green Card? 

8. Are you committed to long-term employment?

Employment-based Green Cards are generally based on your intent to work for your employer and your employer’s intent to permanently hire you.

  • Do you plan on staying with your employer when you are approved?
  • Will you be moving to a different job in another company?
Colleagues shaking hands in a spacious meeting room with other people sitting at the big table

The adjudication officer can ask a wide range of questions during an employment-based Green Card interview. It is important to be as accurate and thorough as possible, but it is also important to be consistent. Many of your answers should match the information you provided on your immigration documents in the time period leading up to the interview.



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