It’s natural to be anxious before your green card interview but if you prepare properly, you will likely pass your application. Consulting an immigration lawyer can further boost your chances of a successful application, but here is what you should generally expect at your green card interview.

Notification, Identification, and Documentation

When the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) are ready for your green card interview, they will notify you of the date, time, and location.

This notice will also specify the documents you must bring. Generally, you should bring the following documents:

  • Identification documents (such as a passport) or driver’s license
  • Original birth certificate 
  • Other requested supporting documents such as marriage certificates, divorce decrees, or evidence of joint finances where applicable

Interview Process

Green card interviews usually occur at the USCIS field office. There, you will meet an immigration officer who will conduct the interview with relevant questions about your intentions and other subjects to assess your eligibility for the green card. The officer must check your identity and review your application.

Many of the questions you will receive will be about your background. For example, the officer might ask you for your name, date of birth, address, and employment history. It’s important to provide accurate and consistent answers, as any inconsistencies can lead to an application denial. Be respectful and refrain from making any negative or derogatory comments regarding the subject.

Marriage-Based Green Card Interview

When individuals apply for a green card-based marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, they should expect more questions from the immigration officer. This is because the officer will want to establish the authenticity of your marriage and whether you plan to live permanently in the U.S.

Verification of Supporting Documents

The immigration officer will thoroughly review every document you submit with your application to establish eligibility and accuracy. Some additional documents that may be needed depending on your circumstances include marital documents, financial documents, and other evidence of a genuine marriage.

English Language and Civics Test

Sometimes, you may be required to take an English language and civics test during your interview. There are some exemptions to this based on age or other factors. However, you should know that these tests are meant to evaluate your general knowledge of the English language and the United States’s history and government.

As a future U.S. citizen, it’s essential to know the nation’s history and be able to speak, understand, read, and write in English at an acceptable level.

Decision and Next Steps

At the end of the interview, the immigration officer may reveal their decision or mail it to your address. If your application is approved, you will receive additional instructions on getting your green card. 

When a decision cannot be made, you may be asked to provide additional evidence or information later. It’s important to consult an immigration lawyer before the interview to prepare properly to have a better chance of having your application approved or dealing with unexpected challenges.