The immigration interview is usually the last phase of the family green card application process. You’ve invested a lot of time and energy to get to this point so it’s important to prepare. Go through sample family green card interview questions, tips, background, and other frequently asked questions in this guide.
Family Green Card Interview Purpose
The family green card interview, whether inside or outside the U.S., has two main goals:
- To establish whether you and your sponsor are eligible as applicant and petitioner; and
- Whether the information provided in the forms and evidentiary documents is valid
Knowing the kinds of questions to expect at your interview and preparing for them will make a difference in your application process. For example, if all your documents line up, you might last just 20 minutes. In this article, we have compiled the most common questions at a family green card interview.
How to Prepare for Family Green Card Interview
If you are in the United States, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will schedule your interview for adjustment of status. If you are outside the U.S., the National Visa Center will schedule your interview at a U.S. consulate or embassy in your country of residence.
Before your interview date, review all the forms and documents. Many of your interview questions will be asked based on the information in these documents. Going through them before the interview will help refresh your memory as you want to avoid giving contradicting answers that will affect your application.
Family Green Card Interview Questions 2022
The most common family green card is the marriage-based category, which involves spouses and minors of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. This is commonly known as the marriage-based green card interview. The essence is to establish that your marriage is bona fide and that the applicant entered the marriage in good faith based on love rather than for immigration benefits. Some of the sample questions include:
How You Met
You may be asked some questions about how you began your relationship and how it developed into a serious relationship that led to marriage. Some of the usual questions for this include:
- How and where did you meet?
- Where was your spouse living when you met?
- Who did they live with before the marriage?
- When did your relationship become romantic?
- Who proposed between the two of you?
- Where and when did the proposal take place? Who witnessed the proposal?
- How long did you court before marriage?
- Where and when did you meet your in-laws
- When did you marry?
- Where did the wedding take place?
- Where was the wedding reception?
- How many guests were there at the wedding?
- Who were the bridesmaids and groomsmen?
- Where did you go for your honeymoon?
- When is your wedding anniversary?
- How many rooms does your home have?
- Are all the rooms on the same side of the home?
- Where does your landlord live?
- Who takes care of family finances?
- Who pays the mortgage or rent for the home?
- What bank do you use?
- Do you have a joint account?
- Are both your salaries deposited into the same account?
- Can you briefly describe the furniture in your bedroom?
- How do you celebrate a special family moment?
Questions About Your Spouse:
- What is your spouse’s date of birth?
- What type of work do they do?
- Where do they work now?
- What is their position?
- What is their work schedule?
- How much is their salary?
- Where was he working when you met
- Did they have a car when you met? What color, model?
- Do they still drive the same car? If not, when did they change it?
- How much is the car loan on their car? How much do they pay them monthly?
- What is their favorite meal?
- Where did they go to school?
- Did he attend college?
- What did they major in?
- What degree did they get?
- How many siblings do they have? Have you met them before?
- Who is their best friend?
- Do you both have mutual friends?
Green Card Interview Questions for Child
If an adult child of a U.S. citizen is seeking a green card, USCIS may pose the following questions during the green card interview:
- What is the full name of your father/mother?
- When is your date of birth?
- What country were you born in?
- Where do you currently live?
- Why do you wish to come to the United States?
- What sort of familial relationship do you now have?
- Do you have evidence to support the relationship with your parents?
- What is your race?
- What is your phone number/current address?
The main factor they will determine is that the relationship is valid and you are the son/daughter of a U.S. citizen.
Family Green Card Interview Questions for Other Applicants
For other family relationships such as siblings, parents, married children, and unmarried children (over 21 years of age), the questions are also based on the family relationship between you and your sponsor. However, they are not as intimate as they are for a marriage-based green card. Some green card interview questions for a child or other family applicants may revolve around the following topics:
- If you genuinely have a qualifying familial relationship with the sponsor claimed in your application
- If your sponsor is a citizen or lawful permanent resident
- If you have any disqualifying past criminal record (your police clearance certificate will be reviewed)
- If you have ever violated any U.S. immigration law (your immigration database will be reviewed)
- If you have drug addictions or if you are or once were a drug addict or dealer
- Whether or not you are a habitual drunkard
- That you are not a terrorist or belong to any terrorist organization
- If your children are indeed yours, (if you have children on your application)
- If your marriage is bona fide and entered into in good faith, if you filed with your spouse
- Whether or not you have any infectious disease by checking your medical examination
NOTE: These questions may not be as direct as they are in the marriage-based interview. The officers usually have a way of verifying whatever information you give at the interview with the one filled in your form.
Tips for Family Green Card Interview
The following tips will help you have a successful interview:
The immigration officers schedule several interviews every day, and they work based on the schedule. Therefore, ensure you don’t come late to the interview. Arriving at the interview location several minutes before your scheduled time is good. Tardiness may show that you are not taking your interview seriously.
Your Appearance and Composure Matters
Appearing or acting nervous may indicate a red flag. Remain composed and answer each question confidently. Also, wearing conservative or professional clothing will portray you as someone taking the interview seriously. Avoid dresses that may appear controversial or offensive, such as revealing clothing or clothes with political slogans or inscriptions.
The best way to answer the green card interview questions is to be honest and concise. Immigration officers are highly experienced, and in many cases, it is not hard for them to know if an interviewee is not telling the truth. Lying during your interview will not only affect your green card processing but may bar you from future attempts to enter the U.S.
If there are any green card interview questions you are unsure about or cannot vividly remember, give just as much detail as you have for the moment and move on to the next question. Try to avoid rambling or being incoherent. If there are specific questions you are not comfortable answering, you will need to discuss this with your attorney before the interview starts.
What Happens After the Interview?
If everything goes well at your interview, the next is to get the decision from the officer. Sometimes, a determination is made right after the interview, and you will know if your green card application has been approved. However, this isn’t always the case. You may need to wait for several weeks or months before a decision is made. This usually happens if your application is subject to further review or sent to a supervisor for approval. You may also receive a Request for Additional Evidence (RFE), which may further prolong the waiting times.
When Do I Receive My Green Card After a USCIS Interview?
Even if your application is approved immediately after the interview, you will not get your green card right away. The USCIS only issues a green card through the mail, which may come several weeks after your interview.
When Do I Receive My Green Card After a Consular Interview?
If you are interviewed outside the U.S. and the consular officer approves your application, you will also not get your green card immediately. The officer will only stamp your passport to indicate permanent residency approval until the official green card arrives. You will be given a sealed immigration packet, allowing you to travel to the U.S. Do not open this packet.
Once you arrive at a U.S. port of entry, a customs officer will collect and check your sealed immigration packet. After reviewing your packet, the officer may decide to grant or deny you entry. If you are granted entry at the port of entry, you will be able to enter the U.S. as a permanent resident, and your official green card will be mailed to you some weeks after your arrival.
What Is a Family Green Card?
A family-based green card is an immigrant visa based on a qualifying familial relationship between a foreign national applicant and a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. It is among the most popular ways of obtaining permanent residency among other green card categories in the United States. Up to one-third of the over 1 million green cards issued annually goes to this category. It is divided into two groups – immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and the family preference.
How to Get a Family Green Card
A U.S. citizen or green card holder can sponsor a family-based green card. The petitioner and the beneficiary must prove they have a qualifying familial relationship and meet all the eligibility criteria. In addition, both of you will need to complete a series of forms and submit them with supporting evidence. These documents may vary depending on your category and location. Generally, the USCIS requires the following:
The Petitioner will:
- File an I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
- Submit proof of citizenship
- Submit the I-864, Affidavit of Support
- Submit biographic information
The Beneficiary will:
- File an I-485, Petition to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, if you are already in the U.S. on a valid visa
- Go through consular processing if you are outside the U.S. or not on a valid visa
- Submit biographic information
- Complete the medical examination and submit the results
Once the items submitted are processed and approved, you will need to attend an interview where the government will make the final decision on your application. You will be notified of the date and location before the interview.
Will an interpreter be provided during my adjustment of status interview if I am not comfortable speaking English?
While USCIS will not provide an interpreter for you, you can hire your own interpreter or bring a friend who can translate for you. Note that the interpreter must be over 18 years old and fluent in both languages. The sponsoring spouse can’t act as the interpreter.
Does USCIS interview minors?
Often, USCIS will waive the interview for minor applicants.
Can I get a green card for my child over the age of 21?
If you are a U.S. citizen, you can get a green card for your child regardless of their marital status. However, permanent residents can only sponsor children over 21 years old if that child is unmarried.
Can you fail a green card interview?
Yes, you can be issued a Notice of Intent to Deny your green card application if the USCIS officer finds your case not to meet the requirements. Alternatively, they may decide to investigate your case more thoroughly before ruling. If the USCIS officer finds that your case is complete and everything is legitimate, you could get conditional permanent resident status right after the interview. Consult with your attorney to ensure all documents are appropriately vetted, and you have the best chance of securing an approval.
How VisaNation Law Group Can Help
The family-based green card application process involves a long and strenuous journey. An interview means you have invested money, time, and energy to get this far. Unfortunately, a single mistake during your interview can lead to a setback or denial. You can avoid this by engaging the services of a family-based green card immigration lawyer.
VisaNation Law Group has a team of highly qualified immigration attorneys with extensive knowledge and experience in the family green card process. They will help prepare your petitions with all necessary supporting evidence to avoid RFEs that could cause delays. By filling out this contact form, you can contact their attorneys today and schedule a consultation.