The marriage based immigration interview can be nerve wrecking, especially for a newly married couple. As newly weds you may not know each other as well as a couple married for years. This blog article will help you prepare for your final interview.
Preparing for the interview is crucial. It can be the difference between an approval, a denial, or even a charge of marriage fraud. It is important to get in tune with your spouse. I’m sure that this won’t be too hard. It’s an opportunity to continue courting each other as you approach your final interview. You and your spouse should review your immigration applications to refresh your memory regarding all the information that is in it.
First, you’ll receive your appointment letter. Your letter will detail the place, time and date of the interview and provide a list of all documents you must take with you to the interview. The USCIS usually conducts the interview at your local USCIS service center. It is important to painstakingly gather all of the required documents. If the instructions in the letter state that such a document should be the original document, be sure to take the original. For example, your original birth certificate, the applicant’s child(ren) birth certificates and your original marriage certificate.
On the day of the interview, go a little before the appointed time. The USCIS will not allow you in more than 30 minutes before the appointment time. Once you go through security, you’ll check in at the front desk (usually in the lobby). The USCIS representative will provide a ticket number and direct you, your spouse and your attorney to the waiting area. It is usually a large waiting area. The wait can be as little as 15 minutes to as long as an hour. The officer will walk into the lobby area and announce your ticket number, or call you by name. You’ll follow the officer to their office where the interview will begin. You will swear under oath, to tell the truth. The officer will also request your proof of identification. Then the interview will begin.
The officer will probe the history of your relationship. The first common question is: how did you meet? When did you meet? The officer may allow you to go through the time line of your relationship or may ask you each question individually. The dynamics between you and your spouse is very important. Any suspicion that the marriage is not genuine will lead to more difficult questions and maybe even a separation of the spouses for further questioning. He or she may also ask questions in regards to your particular circumstances. For instance, how did you enter the U.S.? Did you overstay your non-immigrant visa? Have you worked since losing your legal status? I cannot stress enough that you and your spouse need to be honest no matter how hard the answer may be. For example, you may need to admit to working without a permit. It is better to deal with the problem in truth, than to be caught in a lie. In this instance, working without a permit may not result in negative consequences if an exemption applies.
The officer will verify the information in your adjustment of status interview by asking your current address, your date of births, your phone numbers. The officer will review the immigration background questions touching on criminal and immigration history and national security. You should have the original documents ready in case the officer asks to review it.
If a document is missing, you may get more time to submit it before you get a decision. All being well, you’ll get your decision at the end of the interview. Hopefully with sufficient preparation, a clean record and good vibes, you’ll get an approval. Want a little more on the adjustment of status process, check out my marriage based AOS FAQs. Good luck! If in doubt get an attorney, like myself, on you case.
I also want to take note of some things that can go wrong during the interview. Before you apply for adjustment of status, make sure you meet all eligibility requirements. Knowing the things that can go wrong ahead of the interview can help you better prepare for the interview or get the help you need to deal with the problem. Read my previous blog articles below:
NOTE: As always this is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. Consult an attorney for advice regarding your particular circumstances.