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5 Tips for a successful marriage-based immigration interview

Posted by Arturo A. Burga | Oct 30, 2019 | 0 Comments

5 Tips for a Successful Immigration Marriage based Green Card interview

If you are a United States citizen you are able to petition for your family members. For now we will focus on the spouse petition and green card application. First, you must complete a series of forms and attach birth and marriage certificates along with documents proving that you and your spouse have a bona fide marriage.

What is a bona fide marriage?

This definition can be too broad to understand for many applicants. Many hire an Immigration attorney while others opt for a less expensive; but the yet risky option of using a document preparer, also known as “Notarios.” However, a bona fide marriage simply means that you must provide evidence that you married in good faith and that you are living together.

So you filed your applications, paid your fees, completed your biometrics and you received the appointment for the interview. Many people turn into a panic mode during this time. They have worked so hard to get their green card and the moment of truth is arriving. No worries, we'll provide you with 5 essential tips for a successful interview.

1. Organize your documents

As an Immigration attorney, I have attended hundreds of interviews for my clients. I can definitely tell you that if you want your interview to be quick and painless, you must be organized. Put all your documents in a binder with tabs labelled what type of document it is. Whenever the officer asks for a type of document you'll be ready to provide it. Another thing we like to do is bring copies for the officer of everything we want to provide. USCIS officers love it when they don't have to leave the room to make a copy of your document.

2. Arrange to bring your own interpreter

Sometimes the officer assigned to your case may speak your own language so if that's the case they may conduct the interview in your own language. However, you want to be prepared in case you are assigned an officer that doesn't speak your language. You can bring a friend or anyone over the age of 18 to interpret for you.

3. Dress professionally

No, you are not going out dancing with your friends so please don't wear your cocktail dress or wild color suit. If you own a suit, wear it. At minimum wear something with a collar. You want to show a positive first impression to the USCIS officer who is going to decide whether you should get a Green Card of not.

4. Arrive early

If your appointment notice says 8:00 am, you should arrive by 7:30 am. When I mean arrive 30 minutes early, I mean to be in line to get inside the building by 7:30 am. Most buildings have security and they will not let you inside the building unless you are within 30 minutes of your appointment. When you enter the building, go to the room listed on your appointment notice and hand it in at the check-in window. Once you do that, you can sit and wait until you are called by name.

5. Prepare for your interview

Just like a job interview, it is essential that you prepare for your interview. Most of the questions the officer will ask you are listed in the application forms. The interview is your opportunity to provide oral testimony of what you stated in your applications. Remember, if you don't understand a question, let the USCIS officer know that you don't understand the question so the officer can ask you the question in a different manner.

Well, you completed your interview for your green card. If everything went well then you will be handed out a letter saying that your case will be referred to the supervisor for approval. The officer that interviews you is usually not able to approve your application. They are approved by a supervising officer. Typical wait time is 3 weeks, but you don't receive it in 3 weeks then USCIS will want you to wait 90 days before you reach out to them.

We hope these tips help you prepare for your interview. If you need an Immigration Attorney that's experienced with marriage-based green card applications then call Burga Law Firm PC at (909) 660-7675.

About the Author

Arturo A. Burga

FOUNDER Arturo Angel Burga Mr. Burga began his solo practice in 2011. Since then he has grown to become a top-rated lawyer in his field. He was ranked as a Top Lawyer by Inland Empire Magazine and most recently was an invited as a speaker at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) A...

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