Unlike marriage-based green card interviews, where the immigration officer determines whether a marriage is fraudulent, employment-based green card interviews are more of a formality. In fact, interviews for employment-based green card applicants are often waived. If an interview is required, it is likely to touch on general eligibility, verification, clarification or updating the information in the application. For applicants who are in the United States at the time of application, the interview is a part of the Adjustment of Status stage of the process. For applicants applying from abroad, the interview is a part of Consular Processing. While the interviews are more likely to be waived during the Adjustment of Status, the nature of the employment-based green card interview and the type of questions likely to be asked does not vary between the two processes.
Change of Employer
One of the more commonly cited questions is the circumstances and the reason for changing the employer during the application process. Employers play a major role in the process by initiating the application and completing two out of its three stages. The officer might become suspicious that the applicant used the employer as a way to obtain a green card and ask questions to establish whether the employment relationship was genuine.
I-485, Application to Register Permanence Residence or Adjust Status, requires disclosure of criminal records. Having a record of criminal conviction(s) does not automatically disqualify the applicant. It is, however, taken into consideration and affects the chance of approval depending on the gravity and number of crimes involved. The officer might use the interview to determine whether the applicant's criminal history depicts his moral character and is representative of his present and future conduct.
Documentation and Information
As I-485 stipulates that only copies or documents should be submitted with the application, the officer might schedule the interview to see the originals and ensure their validity. Additionally, the interview might be used as an alternative to a request for additional evidence, such as tax returns and W-2s, by having the applicant bring the documents instead of mailing them.
Clarification and Verification
In most cases, the scope of the interview will not extend beyond the information contained in the application. Often the officer will ask questions already answered on I-485 to see if the applicant is consistent in his responses. Other questions might address lack of clarity or discrepancies within the application and/or supporting documents.