What Is An Adjustment Of Status Interview?

Interview

Don’t get anxious just because you received an adjustment of status interview notice from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Every applicant must go through adjustment interviews during the adjustment of status process. You should be excited because the I-485 interview may be the last step in your adjustment of status application process. If everything goes well, you’ll be a green card holder or permanent resident at the end of the interview.

Adjustment of status interviews is a crucial part of the process after filing Form I-485, the Application to Adjust Status. The I-485 interview is a certainty if you submitted an adjustment of status application based on marriage. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services may waive the interview for some adjustment of status applicant with especially those straightforward cases with sufficient evidence. 

Who Can Attend an Adjustment of Status Interview?

USCIS typically schedules the interview at an immigration office nearest you. In certain areas of the country, this may require an overnight stay and a long drive. For marriage-based green card applications, USCIS typically requires both the petitioner and applicant to attend the adjustment of status interview. The immigration officer will make a decision to waive the I-485 interview based on the unique details of each case.

You can’t request United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to waive the interview, and you should always expect a waiver for marriage-based applications. In some non-marriage-based adjustment of status applications, immigration officials may require only the applicant to attend the I-485 interview. However, it's essential to note that USCIS doesn't require employers to attend adjustment of status interviews for employment-based green card applications.

Also, it's essential to note that the derivative applicants should expect to attend the interview. If you have children and a spouse that is applying for permanent residence based on your eligibility for adjustment, they are referred to as derivative applicants and must appear in the interview regardless of the filing category.

What is Required for Adjustment of Status Interview?

The U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services interview notice will include a list of documents to take to your adjustment of status interview. Follow the requirements on your interview notice, but this list will be prepared for you for the I-485 interview. Expect to take the following documents:

  • Government-issued photo ID, including a passport (even if expired) and any other government-issued photo identification, such as a driver’s license.
  • I-797C, Notice of Action, or the appointment notice for your I-485 interview.
  • A complete copy of your I-485 application package. Besides Form I-485 you should also have other forms, such as I-130A, I-130, I-131, I-864, I-765, which you may have submitted.
  • Original copies of any supporting documents that you submitted to immigration officials with your adjustment of status application. These original documents might include original birth certificate, original marriage certificate, and original death certificates and divorce decrees (if applicable).
  • A valid passport unless you're in certain categories such as asylum or refugee.
  • Any other travel documents, such as your advance parole permit, especially if you traveled while awaiting your I-485 interview.
  • A medical report from the required medical examination on Form I-693, especially if you didn't submit the doctor's report with your original adjustment application).
  • If applying for adjustment of status based on employment, you must bring a recent employer letter, proving continued employment with a specified salary.
  • If applying for adjustment of status based on marriage you must bring copies and originals of documents proving your shared life, including a mortgage or a joint lease, credit card statements, bank account statements, joint bank accounts, or children’s birth certificates.

The immigration officer will most probably ask if there are any life changes that may affect your application. Here, the immigration officer is looking for anything that might change an answer to your application. Some examples include a new employer, the birth of a child, or a new address. If your life changes include criminal conviction or other immigration issues, contact an experienced NYC immigration lawyer before attending the I-485 interview.

What Happens After the Adjustment of Status Interview?

If everything goes well at your I-485 interview, the USCIS officials will approve your adjustment of status application. Sometimes, the USCIS officer may place an “I-551 stamp” on your passport. Regardless, USCIS officials will process a new green card and mail it to you.

However, it's essential to note that not all adjustments of status interviews end with a decision. The USCIS official may inform you that you will receive a decision via mail. 

Also, it's possible that USCIS officers can't approve your immigration case because additional evidence is needed. If USCIS officers request additional evidence, ensure you submit the documentation requested as per the deadline issued. USCIS officials will send you a decision by mail.

If it’s been 90 days after your interview and you still haven't received a decision, call the USCIS and schedule an InfoPass appointment.

If your marriage is less than two years old when the permanent residence is awarded, USCIS officials will issue a two-year conditional residence. The green card holder must petition to remove the conditions in the 90-day time period that precedes the expiration date on their green card. This means that the conditional green card holder must file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions, submit additional materials of a bona fide marriage, and they must pay another filing fee.

However, if your marriage has passed two years since filing your application, ensure the USCIS official is aware. With a minimum of two years of marriage, USCIS officials can issue a 10-year permanent residency. This saves you the extra time and expense needed to remove the conditions later.

Contact Our New York City Immigration Attorneys Today for Legal Help!

Permanent residency is the visa status of an individual authorized to live and work in the U.S. permanently. Adjustment of Status is the process where non-US citizen petitions to become permanent residents while in the U.S. Once you become a permanent resident, you must carry your residency documentation, such as a green card, with you. To be eligible for permanent resident status, a non-US citizen must reside within the U.S. and meet certain requirements. During your adjustment of status interview, it's crucial to have an experienced immigration attorney by your side for legal representation. Contact The Law Office of Jason A. Dennis today at (347) 868-6100 for a free and confidential consultation. 

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