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What typically happens at the green card interview?

Preparation is key component for the interview. Here are a few steps that should be taken:

  1. Make sure to read the interview notice you received and bring the original documents you
    were requested to provide. Bringing the documents requested is super important because if one fails to do so, then the decision making process can take longer. If you do not have all the documents at the interview, the officer may likely issue an RFE (request for information) at the meeting or via the mail.
  2. Be prepared to answer question pertaining to the petition that was filed by the petitioner (the person who is sponsoring the beneficiary) and the beneficiary (the person who is applying for the lawful permanent card or green card).
  3. Arrive early for the interview at the facility and make sure to bring a Photo ID (typically passport, driver’s license etc). Business casual attire is recommended.
  4. Have your documents neatly organized so that you can provide it to the adjudicating officer in an organized manner.
  5. The officer will first and foremost swear you in. Then they will ask questions pertaining to the case. During this time, they will also ask for the needed documentation. Listen to the questions the officer is asking. Answer when you have heard and understood the question. If you do not understand the question, request that the question be repeated.
  6. Be courteous and polite when speaking to the officer.

If at all possible, try to make the first appointment. Rescheduling can cause delays in the adjudication (decision making) process.

  1. As soon as you get notice of the interview, send a written notification (certified mail) requesting a new date.
  2. Call the customer service hotline for USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) and also make a record of this request. (Always keep a record of all communication with USCIS. Keep notes of who you spoke to, the date, and time. If you send any communication via mail, send it certified mail so you can keep a record of when the communication reached USCIS. Keep all original notices you have received from USCIS.)
  3. You should get a written confirmation that they have received notice of your request and that USCIS will be responding to it.
  4. After this, one typically gets notice of another interview date. The interview dates are set by USCIS and it can take another 1-2 months before the next date is scheduled.

What happens after the green card interview?

  1. You will get notice of approval and the Lawful Permanent Card (green card) in the mail.
  2. Or you will get a request for information (requesting more documents) before USCIS (immigration) can make a decision.
  3. Or you will get a denial letter and reasons for the denial.
    The key here is to understand that one has to take the interview seriously, follow the instructions, and be organized.
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