As part of applying for a green card, you would be required by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to undergo an interview. This interview will allow the agency to confirm the authenticity of the information you or your petitioner provided on your application.
Additionally, they will review all facts while you are present. Suppose you applied for a lawful (green card) permanent residence within the United States, it will be via the procedure called adjustment of status.
With the proper preparations, there is nothing that you need to fear. So, read on to find out what to expect at an immigration interview.
What constitutes the USCIS interview?
After being called to the office desk for an interview, the procedure begins by swearing you in and then a check on your identification. Next, the officer will look at your file and ask questions based on your forms.
The questions could be about your place of birth and your address. These questions aim to confirm your authenticity and that there is no change in the personal information provided.
For instance, if you applied for permanent residence within the country in a state like Glendale via the adjustment of a status procedure. You might be concerned about the unpredictability of the questions and how certain circumstances in your past might affect your interview.
So, in such a situation, immigration attorneys located in Glendale can help put you through likely questions that you might expect. The officer will also go through the documents you provided.
This is done to ensure they are valid and ensure that you are eligible for the green card. If your immigration application is based on employment, you have to expect questions related to your job, such as your employer and qualifications.
For family-based immigration applications, questions will revolve around their sponsor and the relationship with their sponsor. They will need to confirm that the sponsor and the immigrant have a genuine relationship and that they weren’t sponsored just because they want to get them a permanent resident card.
For a marriage-based application, you will be asked questions about your relationship, marriage, and even how you met.
What questions should you expect at the immigration interview?
Depending on your immigration application type, your interviewer will either be a consular (if the interview is outside the U.S) or a USCIS immigration officer (if the interview is within the U.S). These persons are specially trained for the process.
The interview questions aim to ensure that the provided information in the application doesn’t differ from the answers provided during the interview. Additionally, there might be a secondary objective dependent on your application type.
For a marriage permanent residence card, the questions will ensure the marriage is the real deal and not just done in an attempt to get a residence card. For family-based permanent residence cards, the questions will be to ensure you are related to the sponsor, as you stated.
For humanitarian permanent residence cards such as those issued under Asylum or VAWA laws, the questions will ensure that you need the card to get the protection and safety you are asking for in your application.
You also have to get ready for questions that might get very personal. For example, the interviewer might want to understand the circumstances surrounding your criminal records, previous immigration history, and entry into the United States.
So, you have to be very honest. It would be best to admit honesty than make up something for questions that you don’t know the answer to.
Below are some likely interview questions to give you an idea of what to expect:
You might be asked questions about physical appearance like:
- How tall are you?
- What is the color of your eyes?
- What is your hair color?
- What is your weight?
It would help if you also were prepared to answer questions about your family. There will be questions about your spouse’s family for a marriage-based card. Possible questions include:
- What is your mother’s maiden name?
- What is your father-in-law’s first name?
- What is the number of children you have?
- Where were your children born?
- Is your child your spouse’s, adopted, or biological?
For a marriage-based permanent residence card, the questions might be a little invasive or probing about your relationship with your spouse. The officer might even question you separately from your spouse.
There is a vast range of questions that the officers usually ask, but here are some examples:
- Where, when, and how did you meet your spouse?
- Where did the first date take place?
- How long did you stay with your spouse before getting married?
- Where and when did you get married?
- Did you go on a honeymoon? If yes, where did you go?
- What are your parent’s thoughts about your spouse?
- What is your spouse’s current job?
You might also be asked questions about any military service in another country or the U.S. military. Possible questions include:
- Have you ever served in the United States military?
- Did you register with the Selective Service? (for males)
- What was your rank when you served in the military of your home country?
What to expect after the interview ends
All being well, the USCIS will approve your permanent residence card and put an “I-551” stamp on your passport. Usually, you cannot get a green card on that day. However, you will get it some days later.
If your case cannot be approved that day, the officer may ask you to submit additional documents to deal with your issues. You will be given a deadline to submit the documents. After you’ve done so, you will be sent a decision about your application by mail.
Most, if not all, immigration processes require an interview with a trained member of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Proper preparation and avoidance of suspicion will make the interview process very pleasant.
The tenor of your interview will be dependent on the USCIS officer’s personality. So, it is pretty impossible to be fully prepared.
However, you have to note that it is the job of the USCIS officer to determine if there is any issue in your present circumstances and background that might affect your immigration procedure. Remember, the officers don’t have anything personal against you.