Employment-based green card interviews are something of a formality. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will review your case to decide if an interview is necessary. When they are required, questions, which you are to answer under oath, are likely to touch on general eligibility, verification, clarification or updating information.
The Stage of the Application Process
The interview is a part of the Adjustment of Status stage for applicants who are already in the U.S. at the time of application. It's part of Consular Processing for applicants who are applying from abroad. Interviews are more likely to be waived during the Adjustment of Status, but the nature of the employment-based green card interview and the type of questions likely to be asked don't vary between the two processes.
In general, you may be asked to confirm your personal identity and describe your employment, job duties, education and past work experience. The interviewer may also ask questions to help determine whether you have any criminal history, immigration violations or other reasons that disqualify you from becoming a permanent resident.
Change of Employer
One of the more commonly cited questions addresses the circumstances and reason for changing employers during the application process. Employers play a major role 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 try to determine whether the employment relationship was genuine.
Form I-485, the Application to Register Permanence Residence or Adjust Status, requires the disclosure of criminal records. Having a record of one or more criminal convictions does not automatically disqualify an applicant but it's taken into consideration and it can affect the chance of approval. It will depend 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
Form I-485 stipulates that only copies or documents should be submitted with the application, so the officer might schedule the interview so he can inspect the originals and ensure their validity. The interview might be used as an alternative to a request for additional evidence, such as tax returns and W-2s. The applicant would bring the documents rather than mail them.
Clarification and Verification
In most cases, the scope of the interview will not extend beyond the information contained in the application. The officer will usually ask questions that have already answered on Form I-485 to see if the applicant is consistent in his responses. Other questions might address lack of clarity or discrepancies within the application or supporting documents.
If an interview is deemed necessary, you will be sent a notice with the location, time and date of the interview. The interview will take place at a USCIS office. Bring original copies of all the documentation that you sent with your I-485 application, such as passports, other travel documents and Form I-94. If you are not fluent in English, you may bring an interpreter to the adjustment interview. In general, the interpreter should be a disinterested party, not a friend or relative.
- Path 2 USA: I485 Process / AOS
- Immigration Forums: My Interview (Employment-Based AOS) Experience in NYC
- United States Citizenship and Immigration Services: Consular Processing
- United States Citizenship and Immigration Services: Adjustment of Status
- USCIS: Adjustment of Status
- Wolfsdorf Rosenthal Immigraion Attorneys: Employment-Based Green Card Interviews Are Coming
- USCIS: Interview Guidelines
Samir Ismayilov started writing professionally in 2010. He writes primarily for eHow, focusing on the subjects of law, business and travel. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Berea College and a Juris Doctor with a concentration in corporate law from Cardozo Law School.