One of the last steps in the Green Card application process is undergoing an interview with a USCIS adjudication officer. The idea of being questioned by a government official is a frightening prospect for many people, but just like any other interview, the key to success is being prepared.
An important part of being prepared is producing the correct documents. In general, you must bring some form of identification.
Identification documents that you will need for nearly all Green Card interviews include:
In most cases you will also need:
When it comes to criminal violations, be prepared to produce records that relate to more serious charges and arrests, as well as those for relatively minor local or municipal offenses.
The other documents that your adjudication officer will want to see depends on the reasons for your Green Card application. Green Card eligibility generally falls within specific categories, so the documents you need will relate to whether you are undergoing an interview for a:
There could also be nuances in your case that require additional records, such as with a second marriage interview, commonly known as a Stokes investigation.
When reviewing your documents, the adjudication officer will focus on the type of application you filed. In a marriage case, for example, you will need to prove a bona fide marriage to a U.S. Citizen. In an employment interview, on the other hand, you must produce records that show you are qualified for the job and that your employer will be able to pay your proposed salary.
At the end of the day, the interview process goes well if you are well prepared. The key is to be honest and able to discuss all the documents that you are required to produce.
In an employment-based Green Card interview (eb1, eb2, and eb3), the major concerns of your adjudications officer will be:
Sometimes a question can be raised as to whether you are a public charge, which is someone who needs government assistance to survive. Usually the public charge issue does not arise during an employment-based interview because you have a permanent job. If you have a large family, however, living below current poverty guidelines, you could be required to provide financial records showing you will not be a public charge.
Click here for a list of documents needed for an employment Green Card interview.
Click here for a list of some questions asked at an employment Green Card interview.
In an adjustment of status through marriage interview, the major issues are:
In most cases, however, the key issue is proving that your marriage is legal and authentic. Both you and your spouse need to be prepared to provide substantial documentation showing that you are sharing your life as a married couple.
Click here for a list of documents needed for a marriage Green Card interview.
Click here for a list of some questions asked at marriage Green Card interview.
A Stokes investigation occurs when there is an issue with the initial marriage interview, such as when the adjudication officer suspects fraud. Because the officer was not satisfied with the first interview, a more detailed and thorough second interview will be conducted.
During the Stokes interview, the adjudications officer will separate you from your spouse and ask the exact same questions. The officer will then compare your answers and request that you and your spouse explain any discrepancies. Keep in mind that many of these questions are straight-forward and relate to things that married couples should know about each other.
In addition, the adjudication officer will also review all your documents. You should bring and be prepared to discuss records you provided during the first marriage interview, along with any supplementary or updated documents required for the Stokes investigation.
Click here for a list of documents needed for a Stokes investigation second Green Card Marriage interview.
Click here for a list of some questions asked at Stokes investigation second marriage Green Card interview.
Usually the family Green Card interview is for a U.S. citizen child who is over the age of 21 and is filing for his or her parents. In this situation the critical issues are:
When it comes to the public charge issue, the U.S. government is increasing its scrutiny of the applicant because in many cases the applicant’s parents are retired or close to retirement age. The concern is that your parents will seek government benefits if they are granted a Green Card.
The adjudication officer will need to see proof that your parents will not need financial assistance from the government, so you must be prepared to provide financial records to prove that your parents will not become a public charge.
Click here for a list of documents needed for a family Green Card interview.
Click here for a list of some questions asked at a family Green Card interview.
The major concern will be whether the information in your I-485 Green Card application is consistent with your refugee and asylum application. Ideally there will be no inconsistencies, but you need to be prepared should one arise.
One problem that sometimes occurs during a refugee and asylum interview is an applicant claiming that he or she has never been arrested, when in fact the original application reflects that the applicant was arrested in his or her home country for political reasons. This is the type of discrepancy that you should be prepared to address.
You will not need to provide a form I-944, which would be used to prove that you and your family do not need public benefits. In other words, as an refugee and asylum applicant you will be eligible for some financial assistance from the government, but you will be better off if you can show that you do not need it.
Click here for a list of documents for an refugee and asylum I-485 Green Card interview.
Click here for a list of some questions asked at an refugee and asylum Green Card interview.
The major concern in this situation is whether:
In addition, if you have a Social Security number because you already obtained student or work status in the United States, there is a good chance the adjudication officer will verify that your Social Security number has never been used for unauthorized work in the United States. As with most Green Card interviews, there will be heavy emphasis on determining whether you will become a public charge.
Click here for a list of documents needed for a lottery Green Card interview.
Click here for a list of some questions asked at a lottery Green Card interview.
The process of obtaining a Green Card can be long and difficult. The last thing you want to do is be unprepared for your final interview. Understanding the types of documents that you will need and keeping track of them throughout the process will only help you in the end.
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