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The EB-2 classification is the second preference level of employment-based green cards for foreign nationals with exceptional ability or advanced degrees. You will learn everything about the EB-2 green card interview on this page. To begin with, you must remember that the EB-2 program has three subdivisions, all of which may require interviews, namely:
Whether you are using consular processing or are already in the U.S. and are undergoing an adjustment of status, it is essential to prepare for the interview before the actual date. You must do the following before the interview date:
You and each derivative beneficiary of the visa application must schedule and complete a medical examination and any required vaccinations to determine your admissibility into the United States based on your health. An authorized physician must conduct the examination.
You can contact the embassy or the USCIS to locate an authorized physician nearest you. After undergoing the exam, the doctor may give you an envelope containing the results of the exam or send it directly to the embassy or the USCIS. If the envelope is provided to you, do not open it, you must bring it to the interview sealed.
You will need to be sure that you have all the required documents that correspond with the answers you’ve entered into your petition and every other form you have submitted. Also, if you’ve changed your address since you began the process or changed your marital status, you must notify the immigration office.
Guidelines and the required documents may vary among different embassies. It is essential to review the instruction page of the embassy you are applying through for the specific requirements. For example, some embassies do not allow visa applicants to bring cell phones to the interview.
Again, this may vary based on your location and whether or not you are already in the U.S. The following are some of the items usually required at an EB-2 interview:
Discuss with your attorney if you need to provide pay stubs for the last two months. If you submit incomplete documentation, the immigration officer can’t complete the interview process, and can’t decide on your case. The process will be on hold until you bring the required evidence.
On the interview day, arrive at least 20 minutes before the scheduled time. If you have derivative beneficiaries (spouse and/or children under the age of 21) on the petition, they will also need to attend the interview. Although immigration officers have the option to waive interviews for minors who are under 14, it is not a guarantee.
In any case, take everyone whose names appear on the application along with you, and ensure each person has the required documentation. Depending on the officer’s discretion, they might conduct a joint interview for the whole family or a separate session for each person. Either way, everyone needs to be truthful in answering the questions to avoid giving contradicting accounts.
As the interview begins, the officer will review your file and ask questions about your documents and forms. This is to ensure that your answers match the information on your application.
The questions are case-by-case and mostly about your biographic information, job, qualifications, or employer. Some of the usual EB-2 visa questions you can expect include the following:
Prepare to discuss your role, responsibilities, and how your qualifications align with the position at the new organization. Some questions might be:
Discuss with your immigration attorney the best way to address any questions you’re unfamiliar with, but these should be straightforward for the most part. You may be asked things like:
For an EB-2 visa while already in the United States. It’s essential to provide accurate and truthful answers to the USCIS officer during the interview.
These questions aim to assess your admissibility into the United States and ensure compliance with immigration laws and regulations.
The following is a general outline of the interview procedures:
Arrival: Arrive at the interview location early to allow time for security checks and registration.
Interview process: The interviewing officer will verify your identity and ask questions about your qualifications, job offer, and intentions to work in the United States. Prepare to answer questions concisely and honestly.
Language interpreter: If you require an interpreter, make arrangements beforehand or inquire about the availability of interpreters at the interview location.
Fingerprinting: You may be required to provide fingerprints for security and identification purposes at the interview.
Fee payment: If applicable, you must pay any required visa fees during the interview.
In most cases, the decision will be made at the end of the interview, and the EB-2 visa petition will be either approved or denied. In some cases, however, there may be a need for further internal processing or additional documentation. If this applies to you, the officer will inform you. You will not receive your green card immediately for an approved case, but you’ll be given a temporary document. The document you will receive will depend on the location of the interview.
For a consular processing interview, you will get a visa packet after your successful EB-2 interview. You will have to pay the USCIS immigrant fee. Do not open the visa packet when you get it. When traveling to the U.S., you must take it with you and give it to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the port of entry.
If the CBP officer inspects you and deems you fit, you can enter, reside and work in the U.S. as an EB-2 lawful resident. Your green card should be mailed to you within 45 days after arriving in the U.S.
For an adjustment of status interview in the U.S., you will get an I-551 stamp on your passport, which serves as temporary proof of your lawful permanent resident status. USCIS will mail you your physical green card a few weeks later.
Dress professionally: Wear formal attire to make a good impression during the interview.
Be prepared: Familiarize yourself with your application and the details of your job offer to answer questions confidently.
Communicate clearly: Speak clearly and concisely, using language that is easy to understand. Be honest and avoid providing unnecessary information.
Stay calm and composed: Maintain a calm demeanor throughout the interview, even if you encounter challenging or unexpected questions.
Ask for clarification: If you don’t understand a question, politely ask the interviewing officer to repeat or clarify it.
Follow instructions: Listen carefully to the instructions provided by the interviewing officer and follow them accordingly.
Maintain eye contact: Maintain eye contact with the interviewing officer to demonstrate attentiveness and confidence.
To qualify for an EB-2 employment-based green card, you must have a job offer from a prospective employer. The employer must begin the process by requesting a Permanent Labor Certification (PERM) from the U.S. Department of Labor. This first process usually takes a few months. If you have a National Interest Waiver approved, you will not need a job offer or PERM.
After getting the PERM, the next step in the application process will be with the USCIS. Your employer will proceed to file an I-140 on your behalf. Once USCIS approves the I-140, they will be forward it to the National Visa Center (NVC).
The NVC will notify you and your employer of the receipt of your petition and will also give you a priority date, which serves as your place on the EB-2 visa queue. You must wait for the date to become “current” before applying for your EB-2 green card.
After that, your current location will determine what goes into your green card application process. If you are already in the United States, you must file an I-485 to adjust your status. If you are outside the United States, you must apply for a visa at the nearest United States embassy in your country of residence. This is consular processing.
Check out this guide on Form I-485J: Confirmation of Bona Fide Job Offer or Request for Job Portability.
You must ensure you follow the given instructions to avoid delay. Depending on the number of people ahead of you, your priority date may take several months or even years before becoming current. While waiting for the priority date, you can begin preparation for your EB-2 green card interview. Once your priority date is about to become current, you will get a notification letter.
One good thing about the EB-2 visa is that as stringent as the requirements are, there is the privilege of having an attorney with you at the interview. VisaNation Law Group’s highly experienced EB-2 attorneys will help you file your EB-2 petition, give you the best legal counsel before and during your interview, and ensure you acquire your green card without any delay. To contact a VisaNation Law Group attorney, you can schedule an appointment with us today by filling out this contact form.