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How to prepare for your USCIS interview

Updated: March 5, 2020

If you’re getting ready for your USCIS green card interview, congratulations on making it this far!

This is a huge achievement and you’re almost to the finish line!

If you have not applied for a green card yet, start here.

The adjustment of status interview is an exciting and significant step in obtaining lawful permanent residence status. The stakes are high and the interview can be overwhelming for applicants, so it’s important to make sure you understand what’s going on and how to properly prepare. Follow the steps in this guide, and you should be just fine. Good luck!

The interview is a normal part of the process. USCIS just wants to verify that all the information in your application is correct, that your marriage or relationship is real, and wants to give you one last chance to update any information before the final submission.

This is a step to look forward to because it is one of the last steps in the adjustment of status process and means you are one step closer to becoming a permanent resident of the United States.

Before the interview

Here are some tips to prepare for your interview:

  1. Don’t be nervous! This is the final stretch. The interview will likely be around 20 minutes of questions about your relationship.
  2. Bring ORIGINAL versions of documents (birth certificate, passport, visa, your spouse’s birth certificate, etc). They want to see the originals, not copies. Also, please bring all the documentation that the USCIS requests in their letter of notice of the interview.
  3. Bring wedding photos and other relationship evidence. This is when you break out the honeymoon photo album and show all of the documents that prove you have a legitimate marriage. That is what this interview is for, so be prepared with evidence to prove it.
  4. Take a copy of your I-485 and your I-864 forms with you to your interview. These are the two main documents that you will be reviewing in your interview and it can help to be able to refer to those documents throughout the interview.
  5. Bring updated financial documents for any sponsors on forms I-864. This should include: tax documents for any tax years that have passed since you filed the application, updated letters from employers, and updated pay stubs and/or bank statements from the last 6 months.

For family-based applications, USCIS generally requires the Form I-130 petitioner to appear for the interview with the principal adjustment of status applicant. In addition, derivatives are also required to appear regardless of the filing category.

Who should go?
For family-based applications, USCIS generally requires the Form I-130 petitioner to appear with the principal applicant. In addition, derivatives are also required to appear regardless of the filing category.

During the interview

During the interview, the officer is trying to verify that the applicant understood the questions on the application.

Any unanswered questions or incomplete answers on the application are resolved at the interview. This is also an opportunity to update any information that may have changed since you submitted the application.

During the interview, the officer will review your documents and ask you questions to make sure you have a good faith marriage and that you are not committing marriage fraud. As long as you have answered all forms truthfully up to this point, you have no need to worry. 

Each interview and interviewer are different so no two interviews will be exactly the same. Due to how brief the interview is, the officer will not be able to ask a lot of questions, but will scrutinize the answers you give to make their decision. 

Common interview questions

Meeting and Courtship

  • How did you meet?
  • Where did you meet?
  • Where was your first date?
  • Where did you first meet in person?
  • How often did you see each other after your initial meeting?
  • How did your relationship progress from meeting to dating?
  • What did you do on your dates?
  • Did you take any trips together while you were dating?
  • When did you introduce each other to family and friends?
  • How long did you date before you decided to get married?
  • Who proposed to whom?
  • Tell me the story of your marriage proposal.
  • Where did you buy the ring? 

Wedding

  • Where did you get married?
  • What day were you married?
  • Did you do a court or a church ceremony?
  • How many people attended your wedding?
  • Who from your family and friends were at the wedding?
  • Did you have a reception?
  • Where did you hold the reception?
  • Tell me about what your reception was like.
  • Were each of your parents at the wedding celebration?
  • Where did you go for the honeymoon?

Relationship/Daily Life

  • When is your spouse’s birthday?
  • Have you been on vacation together?
  • Do you attend church together?
  • Do you plan on having children?
  • Do you live together? Why not (if applicable)?
  • How do you split your finances?
  • Who is your spouse’s employer?
  • What are your spouse’s work hours?
  • When was your last fight?
  • What did you fight about?
  • Who wakes up first in the mornings?
  • How often do you communicate throughout the day?
  • Who does most of the cooking?
  • Who cleans the house?
  • What side of the bed do you sleep on?
  • How do you typically celebrate holidays?
  • What did you do to celebrate your spouse’s last birthday?
  • When is your spouse’s birthday?

Family/Friends

  • Have you met your spouse’s parents?
  • What are their names?
  • How many brothers and sisters does your spouse have?
  • Does your spouse have any nieces or nephews?
  • Do you spend time with your and your spouse’s families?
  • Does your spouse have any children?
  • Do they visit you?
  • How do you get along with your spouse’s family?
  • Do you have mutual friends?
  • What is your spouse’s best friend’s name?

Your interview can end in a few different ways:

  1. USCIS can let you know that they have approved your application. You would leave the interview and typically receive your green card by mail after about a month.
  2. USCIS may not inform you of a decision on your case, but will then approve your green card and you will receive it after about a month.
  3. USCIS can issue you a request for more evidence before they can come to a decision on your case. Just make sure to answer that within the timeframe that they give you.

Good luck!

As always, if you have more questions about the interview or your application, feel free to reach out to SimpleCitizen support and we’ll be happy to help.

Updated on March 5, 2020

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