Preparing for Your Green Card Interview

Obtaining your green card is crucial when you want to stay in the US permanently. In addition to complex paperwork, you’ll also need to pass an interview at a USCIS field office, US consulate, or embassy nearby. Preparing for this interview will help you feel more comfortable when you’re talking to the officer. This guide walks through what you need to know before you head to your interview.

Why is a Green Card Interview Necessary?

During this meeting, a representative of the US government meets with the Green Card applicant face-to-face. This interaction aims to ensure the person applying for the Green Card meets the eligibility requirements to become a permanent US resident and that all information provided thus far is accurate. 

By the time you get to this step, you’ve gone through 7-15 months of paperwork and waiting, and this is the last task before you receive approval or denial of your Green Card application.

Who Attends a Green Card Interview

If you’re applying for a Green Card, you will be required to attend the interview. However, there are cases when other people must go with you, such as in marriage and family applications. In short, if a name is listed on the interview appointment notice, that person must be at the designated address and time.

The government uses this interview for marriage applications to determine if the relationship is authentic. They’ll question both of you together and separately. If you’re filing a family application for parents, children, or spouses outside of the US, they will appear at a separate Green Card interview at a location close to them.

In some situations, such as for asylees, a Green Card interview is unnecessary.

Typically, only those listed on the interview notice are allowed to attend the interview. However, if you aren’t a fluent English speaker and you need an interpreter, they can come to the interview with you as long as they have a government-issued ID and swear an interpreter’s oath to accuracy and privacy. They must follow the guidelines and only translate what the interviewing officer says without adding opinions or extra comments.

You may also bring a lawyer with you to your interview, which is beneficial if you have any hiccups on your record. Criminal and immigration concerns can prevent you from obtaining your Green Card, but your lawyer can iron the details out on your behalf. Before the interview, they must submit the completed Form G-28, Notice of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative.

Those with disabilities can bring a legal guardian or friend.

Preparing for Your Green Card Interview

An essential part of the interview involves reviewing documentation. As a general rule, bring everything related to your visa and Green Card request just in case it’s requested. For Green Card interviews in the US, ensure you have the following:

●     Your government-issued ID

●     A copy of Form I-485 (the interview appointment notice)

●     A copy of the adjustment of status packet, including Form I-130, I-130A, I-864, I-131, I-765, and I-944, as applicable

●     Your passport, unless you’re applying with asylum or refugee status

●     Travel documents, such as advance parole

●     Original copies of any supporting documents, such as marriage certificates, birth certificates, divorce decrees, etc.

●     An employment letter stating you have continued employment and what your salary is if the Green Card is employment-based

●     Proof of married life if the Green Card is marriage-based (this could be a joint lease, bank account, mortgage statements, etc.)

Your immigration attorney can offer advice on other documents. If anything has changed since you filled out the application, bring evidence of the change, such as birth certificates if you’ve had a child, marriage certificates if you got married, or contracts if you changed employers.

Planning Your Answers

Many people attend a Green Card interview nervously. While this is an important meeting, keep in mind that the USCIS immigration officer or consular officer is trained to look for honest versus deceptive answers. As long as you’re going with the right reasons and your answers are accurate, you don’t have anything to be concerned about.

Questions can get personal. The officer will ask you to explain things like why you came to the US, your previous history with immigration, your family life and background, and other details. It’s okay not to know the answers to everything, but if it’s something you should know, this can flag the officer.

Common questions you’ll hear include, but aren’t limited to:

●     Your date and place of birth

●     A general day in your life

●     Your kids' favorite foods

●     The school your children attend

●     The sports or hobbies your children have

●     Medications your spouse takes

●     Where was your honeymoon, and how long were you there

●     What your practicing religion is

These and other questions are strategically designed to ensure you are the person you claim to be and your employment, marriage, or family Green Card is valid.

What’s Next?

Preparing for your interview should be something you take seriously but don’t need to stress about. Work with Visa2US to learn Green Card interview tips, find out how to smooth over gaps in your history or rough areas that could block your Green Card approval, and what to expect during the interview.

At Visa2US, our experts are available every day to make this process easier for you. We’ll prepare you for the big day and help you understand the steps and what happens after the interview. Don’t go into something this crucial alone. Call Visa2US today and let us do the hard work for you so you can enjoy the benefits of your Green Card.

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