Are you applying for any of the following types of green cards?
- Family-based Green Card
- Employment-based Green Card
- Green Card as a Special Immigrant
- Green Card through registry
- Green Card through refugee or asylee status
If so, you may be subjected to an interview at a US embassy or consulate. Green card interviews are usually held at a local US embassy or consulate near you. The purpose of these interviews is to verify that your application is valid and evaluate your legitimacy.
It sounds intimidating, but the Green Card interview is like a “safety measure” to confirm the information on your application as well as your authenticity. Your interview notice may include names of the people you should bring with you, such as your spouse, depending on the circumstances.
7 Tips to Know for Your Green Card Interview
With the above information in mind, our immigration attorney encourages you to remember some tips for your Green Card interview to maximize your chances of getting granted permanent resident status in the US. If your interview notice requires you to bring certain people with you, ensure they also review the 7 tips below:
We strongly advise you to arrive at your interview 30 to 60 minutes early. You should expect to wait in long lines and go through metal detectors, which is time-consuming. Arriving early will give you enough time to enter the building, find your interview room, and prepare as you see fit.
Dress in Business Casual Attire
Treat your Green Card interview like a job interview by wearing conservative clothing. Avoid jeans, t-shirts, strapless clothing, and other informal/revealing attire. Remember, first impressions count.
Bring the Right Documents to Your Interview
You should bring the following documents to your Green Card interview:
- Appointment letter: Bring the letter sent by the National Visa Center (NVC) regarding your interview appointment.
- Passport: Bring an unexpired passport that is valid for 6 months beyond your intended entry and a photocopy of the biographic page.
- Photographs: You need 2 color passport-size photos of each person applying for a Green Card.
- Birth certificate: Bring the original, English translation, and photocopy version of your birth certificate.
- Medical exam results: You should complete a medical examination before your interview. If your physician gives you a sealed envelope, DO NOT open it but rather bring it to your interview and give it to your interviewing officer.
- A printout of the confirmation page from the Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application, you submitted online at ceac.state.gov.
- Original and photocopied documents: Bring originals and photocopies (in English) of the documents you were required to complete and submit to the NVC for yourself and, if applicable, your family members who also applied for a Green Card.
- Visa fees (if applicable): If you haven’t paid them already, bring your visa fees to the interview.
Honesty is the best policy, especially in your Green Card interview. You may feel pressure to answer every question, but if you don’t know the answer to an officer’s questions, say that. Don’t lie during your interview, as it may backfire and ruin your chances of getting approved for a Green Card.
Answer the Questions Asked of You
Far too many applicants get denied a Green Card because they fail to answer the specific questions being asked. They either fail to answer the question clearly and concisely or give an answer that does not make any sense. Not only is it frustrating and time-consuming, but the officer may develop suspicions about the authenticity of the application altogether. If this happens to you, be truthful and say, “I don’t remember” or “I do not know.”
Many times, spouses applying for a marriage-based Green Card find themselves overwhelmed and defeated because they feel pressured to know every single detail about each other and their marriage. Interviews for marriage-based green cards, for example, often involve questions about the relationship, day-to-day lifestyles, spouses’ habits, and significant milestones in the marriage, such as the wedding day and having kids.
It is easy to forget the answers to all these questions, and that’s okay. Practice answering these questions with your spouse to best prepare. If you “blank out” during the actual interview, remain calm and simply say you don’t remember. It’s better to be truthful than to lie.
Bring an Interpreter
If needed, bring an interpreter to your interview if you don’t feel comfortable speaking in English. One will NOT be provided for you, therefore, ensure your interpreter is lawfully present in the US and not a relative of yours.
We hope these tips above help you prepare for your Green Card interview. Your chances of getting accepted could significantly increase with an immigration lawyer on your side, which is why we welcome you to give our attorney a call at (713) 839-0639 to ask questions and learn how we can help you!