VIDEO: Best way to prepare for your spouse-based green card interview

How should I go about preparing for my green card interview at USCIS? I am Jim Hacking, Immigration attorney here in Saint Louis Missouri. We handle a fair amount of marriage based green card applications here in Saint Louis. A lot of times our clients want to know what’s the best way to prepare. What we do is, we bring them in a couple of weeks before the interview, and we go over the file with them. We spend some time looking at the file, we look over everything that’s been filed with USCIS, and we go over the application from start to finish.

We make sure that everything on the application was correct, and we ask them all the questions that we think that the immigration officer will ask them at the interview. For instance we go over their name and background information. We ask about trips outside of the US. We ask about work history. We ask about addresses where you lived, moving around, those kinds of things. We always talk about what immigration status you’ve been. In the course of your life, we generally start with when you first entered the US. We make sure that you’ve always maintained a valid status, or if not they were ready to talk about that.

If you have documents that you’re going to bring with you, we definitely go over all those documents with you at this pre-interview meeting. We want to make sure that we submit a lot of good, credible evidence of the validity over the marriage, and to show that the marriage is valid. That’s one of the two main issues at a green card interview when it’s based on a marriage. The one thing they’re going to check is that the marriage is legitimate, that the husband and wife, or the spouse are living together, and that they have a joint life together they their sharing their assets, their sharing debts, and their sharing bank accounts, and all kinds of things you can do to document that the couple lives together and have a shared life.

The other main thing you don’t want to be checking is, whether or not the person is a good person. The non-citizen that is that is this person someone that they want to admit in the United States and to grant law of permanent residence status to. We’ll spend some time if there has been any kind of criminal activity or criminal convictions, we always want to go over that. We don’t want there to be surprises at the interview, so we’ll go over the application pretty carefully with the couple.

We talk about how to answer questions, what demeanor you want to have at the interview, and how do you want to be, you don’t want to be nervous, and furtive, and looking around like this, and asking for help, or looking to the attorney for help. A lot of times this preparation really pays off. Because you’ll address issues that you haven’t really thought of before. We can ask the questions and ways that you haven’t thought about before. Sometimes it triggers memories or things that you might haven’t even included in the application. I want to make sure to get in front of that, so that we’re prepared to fully discuss it with the officer at the interview.

The other reason we like to meet a couple of weeks ahead of time is because it gives us the opportunity to supplement if we need to. If someone has taken a trip overseas or if they’ve gotten a traffic ticket, we want to make sure that we’re out in front of that too. The main thing is preparation and preparation really comes about by sitting down, going over the application, asking all of the questions, making sure that everyone understands what’s being asked, why it’s being asked, so that you understand what it is the immigration officer is after.

We think this pre-interview meeting really helps, we think it’s a real value for the client, we think that it really goes a long way to helping them get their cases approved. If you have any questions about the green card interview, about the whole application process, or if there’s anything that you need help with the spouse base green card. Feel free to give us a call, pick up that phone, give us a call, 314-961-8200 or can always shoot me an e-mail jim@hackinglawpractice.com. Thanks.