If you have applied for an employment-based green card, as of October 2, 2017, you must appear for an in-person interview with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If you filed an I-485, Adjustment of Status to Permanent Resident for an EB-1, EB-2, or EB-3 visa after March 6, 2017, the interview is mandatory.
Appearing before immigration officials can be a stressful event, particularly when you are being questioned in an interview. In this article, we will discuss some common questions about the process of obtaining permanent residency with an employment-based immigrant visa and what to expect in the interview process.
When will I be called for an interview?
If you have an approved I-140, Petition for Alien Worker and are eligible to apply for Adjustment of Status to get your green card, you will need to file an I-485 application for Adjustment of Status to Permanent Resident. After you file an I-485, your application is forwarded to the National Benefits Center for adjudication. Once your application is ready for adjudication, USCIS will send you an Interview Notice stating the date, time, and location of your mandatory interview.
What should I expect?
On the day of your interview, it is wise to arrive early, if possible, at the location stated on your notice. This location will be a local USCIS field office. You have the right to bring a lawyer with you to your interview, but a lawyer will not be provided for you. You can also have an interpreter present.
You will typically be questioned by one UCSIS officer, but there may be other immigration officials in the room. The immigration officer's job is to make sure that all of the information you have presented on your forms and the documentation you submitted is accurate and truthful. They will be determining whether you are statutorily eligible for Adjustment of Status to Permanent Resident.
What questions will I be asked?
During your interview, a USCIS officer may ask you information about yourself, family, employment, and past including:
- Biographical information like your name, date of birth, place of birth, country of citizenship, etc.
- Any questions listed on your I-485 application or I-140, Petition for Alien Worker
- Information about your job, job duties, job skills, job history, and educational background
- Questions about your criminal background and any previous arrests
- Questions about your immigration history, previous entries into the United States, and past visas.
Naturally, if you are applying for an employment-based green card, you should be prepared to answer specific questions about your current and past employment history. The USCIS officer is likely to heavily focus on employment-related questions.
To be prepared for your interview, it is wise to collect all details about your current and past employment ahead of time. Tell your immigration lawyer if there have been any changes to your employment like job title change, demotion, promotion, termination, or change in job location.
If you change employers during the application process, expect that the details of both jobs and your job change will be closely scrutinized by the interviewing officer.
Will my family be interviewed?
If your spouse or child is a derivative beneficiary of your employment-based immigrant visa, then they will be called for a separate, individual interview before their own green card is approved.
During your spouse or child's interview, they may be asked similar questions to those that you are asked during your interview, in addition to information that establishes their relationship to you. It is important that your spouse or child brings documentation to their interview to support their legal relationship to you such as a marriage certificate, birth certificate, or certificate of adoption.
Do I need to bring a lawyer with me to the interview?
If you are eligible to apply for Adjustment of Status based on approved I-140 Petition for Alien Worker, it is wise to have an experienced immigration lawyer present with you. Having a lawyer with you at your interview helps you to make sure your rights are being protected and the process is being administered fairly.
Call Orbit Law Today
Getting a green card can also be a complicated process. With numerous steps, various form numbers, and complex regulations, your immigration lawyer can help you to navigate the process in an informed way and advocate for your rights.
Call Orbit Law today and one of our experienced immigration lawyers will be happy to speak with you about your employment-based green card application and the interview process. Call Orbit Law at 206-623-3352 today!
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