Your Adjustment of Status Interview
An application for Adjustment of Status (Form I-485), which has been filed with CIS, requires that the individual applicant (and in some instances, the spouse) be interviewed prior to adjudication. For many people, the prospect of being interviewed by an immigration officer can be stressful. However, for those who are prepared, an immigration interview should be straightforward and much like a job interview. You should try to remain calm- there is no reason to be nervous. Most interviews last no longer than 30 minutes and are a formality. However, we recommend that you budget approximately two hours of time for the entire process.
Included in this section is information on:
- The General Process
- Tips for the Interview
- Information for Marriage-Based Applicants
The General Process
CIS will provide a comprehensive list of required documentation with your interview appointment letter. Prior to your interview, you will be required to provide biometric data based on USCIS’s Customer Identification Verification system.
In most cases, your name will be called and you will be brought into a separate office. The officer will place you under oath and ask to see valid, government-issued identification. The bulk of the interview will consist of the officer going over the forms previously submitted to ensure that the information is accurate and up to date.
Assuming that all of your documentation is in order, the officer will, upon conclusion of the interview, let you know if your application has been approved. If further information or documentation is required, or there are criminal or background check issues, a formal request for evidence will be issued and you will be given a time frame in which to comply.
Tips for the Interview
- Carefully read the entire appointment notice from CIS so that you know what to bring and what not to bring.
- Inform a friend or relative of your interview date, time and location and ask them to remind you a day or two prior to the interview to ensure you do not inadvertently miss the appointment.
- DO NOT attempt to reschedule your appointment except in the most urgent of cases.
- Wear business attire in order to promote a professional image to the interviewing officer.
- Arrive 15 to 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment.
- The officer will also want to see originals of all of the supporting documentation previously submitted with the application to ensure their authenticity (examples would include birth and marriage certificates; joint health, life and car insurance policies; joint checking, savings and credit card statements; lease or mortgage agreements; birth certificates of children born of the union; and photographs of the couple). We recommend that you also bring one set of photocopies.
- Be yourself but maintain a professional demeanor.
- Do not be afraid to ask the officer to repeat themselves if you do not understand a question being asked.
Information for Marriage-Based Applicants
In marriage-based adjustment cases, the following applies:
- Your spouse will be required to accompany you to the interview.
- Your spouse will be required to present valid, government-issued identification.
- Be prepared to provide the interviewing officer with evidence that the couple does have a bona fide marriage and is not trying to evade immigration laws. In these instances, we recommend you bring as much documentation as possible. Examples would include joint health, life, and car insurance; joint savings, checking, and credit card statements; lease or mortgage agreements; birth certificates of children born of the marriage; and photographs of the couple.
Most importantly, if you have concerns before the interview, we urge you to contact us.