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Green Card-Interview Questions

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  • Green Card-Interview Questions

    I was wondering if anyone can help me out.
    I filed for my greencard 10 months ago and I went and got my work authorization and also went for my fingerprints. I have yet to receive anything regarding my interview.
    My questions are.....

    1. How much time is there between receiving your letter for interview and the actual interview date? So far they have been about 30 days.

    2. We applied to the Dallas,TX office through my lawyer. So therefore, I cannot give a receipt number to find out the status.I am starting to get a little nervous as it is going on 11 months soon and I haven't heard anything yet. Does anyone know of any other ways to find this out. My lawyer is on vacation right now otherwise I would ask him.

    Thanks so much for any help anyone can give me.

  • #2
    It can take a longn time; I wouldn't start worrying yet. My husband and I put in his application 4/01; we were interviewed 8/01, and just last month heard the first response (almost 2 years later) which was a request for updated tax returns, proof of valid marriage, etc - even updated fingerprints as they are only good for 18 months. Our time between application and interview was 4 months which seemed long at the time but that was pre-9/11. Now, delays are much worse as they check everything with a fine tooth comb, not to mention the changeover in administration - new employees with new roles since the abolishment of the old INS and creation of the new and improved one ^_^

    Good luck and keep us posted!


    • #3
      Hi Lurker,

      Wow that is a very long time for you. Didn't you have to submit all of your tax returns and proof of marriage at the beginning? We had to submit all of it. Our lawyer told us that it would be around a year to get our interview. But we spoke with them a little while ago and said that they were trying to clear up all the old cases and so they were putting the new ones on hold. Unfortunately we are a new one.
      What was your interview like? Was it scary and nerve wracking?
      Did your husband also enter into the US and then you got married while he was here?
      thanks so much for you response.


      • #4
        An interview is nothing to worry about if you can show to BCIS that the marriage is not a sham. They won't take your words for it, though. You have to show some documentary evidence like jointly filed taxes, utility bills, joint bank accounts, credit cards, post cards from relatives address to both of you, pictures taken while spending time together and with your relatives. You can't over prepare. Then if you show all that the interview will be a smooth ride with little questions asked.


        • #5
          Lurker, won't your hubby get 10 year GC when approved over conditional GC cause it's been over two years and you're stil not approved yet?

          To Amisds:

          Lurker probably did submit those forms when she filed. They are looking for updated tax forms.

          We just interviewed on June 24th. Officer asked for co-sponsors 2002 tax returns. I told her they had filed for an extension until August. They will most likely request this from us when we hear from them.


          • #6
            TO: amisds

            I just can not understand why people are starting worried about their cases if they don't hear anything from INS during the time when their cases are under processing time given by INS. These people did not get worried when they have no pending case with INS being out of status [some of them], and now when govt. is processing their applications, they want to get everything so fast.

            It is important for you to know that- First off, local INS offices usually [99%] don't send any receipt notices unlike INS Service Centers since Service Centers always send the notice of receipt. So, even if 10 months or more passed by and you didn't hear or receive any notice or anything else from INS, then it doesn't mean that your case is not processing, or your file is lost, or your case is administratively closed, instead it means that your case is being processing as it is supposed to and govt doesn't need any other documents from you at this point. You should be in patience for at least 18 months. Most of time, it's better not to hear from INS while application is processing, otherwise it is considered some complications in the case because INS usually demands some documents or explainations except any interview.

            Second, it's just only 10 months since you filed the application and it takes more than 10 month to process yr application in Texas. If I were you, I would be worrying only after 24 months even if processing time over there is 18 months, because INS is so busy in dealing with lots of other stuffs thesedays including dealing with backlog cases.

            Third, even if you or your attorney will contact INS for status check on your application, you will be wasting your time and effort for nothing, believe me, because INS would get back to you by saying- 'case is under processing', that is and you can not do anything else at that time just to accept what you will be told.

            Fourth, applications for work permit and advance parole are handled in differnt sections of same INS office even though you send those applications altogether with I-130 and I-485. Anyone can get work permit or advance parole as long as they have pending I-485.

            Usually, INS mails appointment letter for interview 1-3 months in advance, so that applicants can prepare themselves for inteview. It is always advisable to submit all the required documentations properly alongwith your applications, otherwise adjudication on your applications would take longer and INS would ask those documents again and again even though they have interviewed you previously. Until your case is approved, you will need to have fingerprinted again and again even if you have already fingerprinted in the past because fingerprinting is good for only 18 months. I do know that you were not fingerprinted yet but I'm just giving you the information so that you would be aware of it in the future.

            You did not ask what would happen in the interview or what do you need to do in order to prepare yourself for a successful interview, but if you need to know about it then you should read the posts of others people who has commented on this matter. Best of all.


            • #7
              Hi amisds:

              We did submit everything at the beginning. Our problem was, at the interview everything went great EXCEPT my husband's passport was messed up - he had kept it in a desk drawer at his parent's home in Ecuador and his little brother did homework there; he'd spilled glue that dripped into the drawer so when my husband picked up his passport it was stuck to some other papers and they ripped, leaving pieces of paper and glue residue on the passport. The agent interviewing us wanted to make sure the passport was not forged or altered in any way so she had it sent to the Documents Verification Bureau or some such place in Chicago, where it languished and gathered dust once 9/11 hit and they had more pressing documents to authenticate (namely, ones from middle eastern countries). Had his passport been normal it would have been stamped at the interview.

              The good thing as Josephine points out is that yes, now that the delay has been so long the approval will be for permanent residency, not temporary. Since it WAS so long, however, we have had to update all the original proof submitted to show that the marriage is STILL valid.

              As far as the interview itself, we were nervous but it went well. There was a video camera there; couldn't tell if it was on or not but it was a little unsettling. She asked about how we met, what we did last weekend, asked my husband for the names of my relatives and vice versa, different thing that someone in a fake marriage could have tripped up on. She made my husband acknowledge that the things he had done to work and stay without approved status were wrong; seemed to just want to hear him admit it and then she was fine. Our lawyer was with us and she was just sighing with frustration about the passport thing; she blamed herself for not noticing the back of it and knowing it would be a problem because she could have included an explanation in our submission (God knows we submitted enough: I-245 and $1000, I-30, I-485, I-601, affidavits from each of us... what would one more letter have been?!!)

              But we are happy that it is moving and are hoping this is over relatively quickly now (four more months or so). Good luck to you!


              • #8
                Hi Sammy,

                I am sorry if I sounded like everyone else who is impatient about the whole immigration thing. To make a long story short it is hard because we had 2 lawyers tell us that the processing time is approx 1 year and I thought I would have heard something else before now. I have never done this before and it is all new to me. I also have 2 friends from Canada that also moved to Texas and had their green card within a year. We also moved to a different house and wanted to make sure time wise it was correct because if it was off, I wanted to doublecheck our address.
                I have already been fingerprinted almost 8 months ago now. So that was why I was wondering about time frames.
                I also have my mom who is in the hospital and my grandpa who had a massive heart attack a week ago, so I was worried about anything happening to them and not being there.
                I really am not an impatient person and totally understand the laws, I have just been getting told so many different stories.
                As for the interview, we are pretty prepared as our lawyer has done that and he will run through a practice interview with us as well.
                Thanks for you response Sammy.


                • #9
                  To: Amisds

                  We are in California and we filed for my husband in October of 2003. It will be 9 mos in a few days. We have received a receipt letter in the very beginning that stated that it might take up to 18 mos, but there was one lady here on the board last month, who actually filed the same as we did at our local Los Angeles office and they already had their interview a month ago. She said that the letter came 1 month before the interview. Well, in our case we still haven't received a letter for an interview.

                  So, I called my local Congressman's office and was told that thought the receipt letter states 18 months, right now it's on the average of about 9 month. This gentlemen told me that I should just wait another 30 days after 9 months and get in touch with the office again if I don't get anything by then. That means latter part of August. When I will contact them, they will open an investigation to where the papers might be and what is the status of them. So, that's all I know at this time.

                  Hopefully, I won't have to contact them and I'll get the letter before the August date.

                  Hope that helps. I really don't know though what is the actual wait time in Texas.

                  GOOD lUCK!


                  • #10
                    TO: COM2LA & Amisds

                    Hey Com2la, did not see you for a while on this board.

                    As you know every person's situation is different, that's why some people get interviewed first and others later. It all depends how the processing went thru on each individual's case. As you know that INS needs to verify the validity of all those information you provided to them like birth certificate, marriage certificate, divorce decree [if there was any previous marriages], arrival and departure record, and lots of other information. And, in doing so, they deal with foreign govt also, and not all foreign govt's are efficient or cooperative. So, it is possible that foreing govt is helpful on someone's case but not helpful in other person's case. In addition, it also depends on assigned adjudication officer because some officers are lazy while others deal the matter on priority matter without any delay. So, it doesn't make any sense that if someone's case has been adjudicated so your case should also be adjudicated under the same time frame.

                    Even if someone seeks out help of Congressman, then still it won't change the processing time on application. Congressman can not speed-up the processing of an application, and only thing they can do is to check the status of application, periord, which you can do also by yourself by writing the letter to local INS office or by visiting them in person. If Congressman can speed-up or can do any thing else then everyone will go to their Congressman for help. People are in the myth about this fact, and their Congresspersons never tell this truth to their constituents because they need their votes at the time of election. Believe or not, Congressman can not do anything different or extra what you can not do. Furthermore, sometimes, it is a bad idea to involve Congressman in this bureacratic agency unless there is a very compelling reason for their involvement.

                    Every people [even attorneys on record] give only approximation on processing time, and there is never a gurantee for anything else. Like I said earlier that the only time I will get worried if the processing time has been lapsed without being heard anything from INS . You should ignore whatever has been said by other people or whatever have been seen on other people' cases because each case is dealt on case-by-case basis.

                    If there is an emergency to travel abroad, then applicants can always obtain advance parole based on pending I-485. But, it is very important for them not leave if they were out of status prior to filing AOS because INS is hardly approving the waivers on this issue thesedays, since INS were advised by the Homeland Security Dept. to deny the cases just even for small ground if there is. Best of all.


                    • #11
                      I've been reading this with a good deal of interest. My husband petitioned me for a I-130 and that was 4.5 years ago. After calling the senator's office and writing them a letter last year, the INS finally got around to fingerprinting me. This year, I tried again talking to INS at their office and they said that they were backed up and didn't know why my file hadn't come up for an interview process. Still waiting... my husband has started drinking again and gets into big tempers when he drinks... don't know how long I can take this. Any advice? What would happen if I divorced before my interview?


                      • #12
                        I'm sure Sammy has more experience than I on the subject of getting congresspeople involved, but for us we did not see action until our senator's office called the agent who has our case. We received the above-mentioned update and request two days after her phone call.


                        • #13
                          It might be possible that your case was past beyond the processing time, otherwise BCIS doesn't interfere into the case even Congressman calls them because it happened to my case in the past even though my congressman called and wrote them.


                          • #14
                            Sammy, sorry I haven't been on the board in a while. Thank you so much for your response. I did write the letter to the INS and haven't received any response. I have a feeling that these letters go nowhere. As far as the Congressman's office is concerned. The guy told me to contact him this months, cause now we are on our 10th month of waiting. He said to get in touch with him in the end of August. They will fax me a paper that we need to fill out with all the info on my husband and they will inquire. He too said, it won't speed up anything, but at least we'll know where we stand. I am more afraid that the papers were lost than anything else. This way, I will know exactly what is going on.

                            Thank you again for your reply.

                            Take care.


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