This is a short guide about a USCIS regular interviews. It does not include any sort of “special” situations. Many of our clients are fearful on this day especially because it is at the discretion of one person. I have compiled few things that happens at this interview to help.
The interview process (using the sample of a marriage family petition)
In most marriage cases done under adjustment of status, the USCIS will conduct an interview of the couple at the local office. You will be notified of this interview with an I-797 notice. The interview notice will usually tell you about the documents you should bring at this interview. The interview is conducted in a regular office (not a court) with an immigration officer. If you are represented by an attorney (counsel), the attorney will be allowed inside the office by your side.
What will happen during the interview?
I am using the example of CA (Bay Area) local offices. Each office might have a different procedures: 1. You will be sworn in; 2. Officer will go over the documents and see if there are any corrections. Usually corrections will be marked in red and you will have an opportunity to review the corrections or notes before you sign that you have reviewed. Note that your attorney if present will also be premitted to view the corrections. 3. Then often you will be asked question how you met your spouse and regular questions about your marriage. 4. The officer usually also asks for proofs of marital relationship e.g. bank accounts, lease agreements, insurance, utility bills, pictures, etc. 5. If the officer is satisfied, and all the checks are done, they might give you an approval at this point. However, in most cases, they will put under review by a supervisor and give you an answer within few days after the interview.
What happens if the officer is not satisfied?
If the officer is not satisfied, the officer might ask to separate both of you and start questioning you independently to know the validity of the marriage. This happens usually when they suspect marriage fraud. Note that you can ask to stop the interview at any time. The officer can also call your spouse and you for another interview. Since this legal was limited to a “typical” case, we will not cover marriage fraud interview in this legal guide.