Green Card Interview to Know’s
Understanding How to Prepare for a Green Card Interview
Every immigrant applicant who wants to be approved for permanent residency in the United States has to be approved for a permanent residency status. This is regularly known as a green card status in reference to the original green-colored card people were issued by the U.S. federal government as their residency identification years earlier. As part of the application process, an applicant must undergo a green card application interview. In this meeting, an immigration officer evaluates the readiness of the candidate to participate as a resident of the United States, as well as whether he or she knows enough to adequately understand the civic processes of the U.S. government and society.
The Timing of the Interview
Prior to an interview an applicant will have submitted a full application as well as supporting documentation for their residency consideration. This is submitted to a U.S. immigration office. The federal personnel will then review the application, file, information provided as well as a background check on the individual within the federal system parameters. Somewhere from about 7 to as long as 15 months after the application is filed, the green card interview will be scheduled. The applicant must appear alone, aside from a Sugar Land immigration lawyer, and answer the question of the interview truthfully. All interviews are at a U.S. immigration office, typically one generally near where the applicant lives or is located. If overseas, the applicant will appear at a U.S. consulate instead. A green card attorney in Sugar Land TX can still help though.
For those where English is not a first language and it is hard to understand, an interpreter can attend the green card interview. An Sugar Land green card attorney is also allowed to attend representing the interviewee. This is particularly helpful if the applicant has some concerns with regards to prior justice or immigration issues in their own country. These records may be accessible to the federal government prior to the interview, so having an attorney present can help tremendously through the questions asked about one’s history.
Attending the Interview Itself
It’s a smart idea to have one’s records in order and bring a photocopy of your application, immigration paperwork, and necessary identification, as well as records that help confirm your status. All of these documents help corroborate your statements, and copies give you the ability to reference what you provided in an application if asked about the details. An immigration attorney Sugar Land resource can help. Common documents applicants bring are:
- A government-type identification such as a driver’s license
- The appointment notice
- The application package
- A passport identifying country of origin
- Travel documents for periods of travel between the application and interview
- Any medical records identifying your medical status not included in the application
- Employer communications if applying for work
- Marriage and life documents if applying for a marriage-related green card status
As the interview begins, the immigration officer will first ask a series of questions to confirm your history and details of your application. They will also confirm if anything has changed since filing. Birth of a child, a new address or a new employer are all facts that should be disclosed as well as documented proof of the same. The interviewer will then go into deeper questions intended to elicit responses for evaluation, depending on the type of applicant. Family applicants get questions about their family members, and asylum applicants realize questions about their circumstances. General applicants typically get questions that confirm their ability to function in American society adequately as well as understand American laws and civic institutions. For example, an applicant may get a question about what was the name of the war that secured the independence of the United States. This is a test on one’s ability to remember civic history lessons (answer – The War of Independence).
Be calm, study your basic American history, and be very familiar with American civic institutions such Congress, the President and the Supreme Court as well as how laws are made. The law firm of Esani & Momin can help applicants through the entire process as well as provide guidance during the interview itself. There’s no need to go through such a critical event alone; a Sugar Land immigration attorney can make it easier.