Employment Based Green Card Interview
Have you recently received a job offer from a U.S.-based employer? Do you want to enter the U.S. for employment-based reasons?
This article is for you. Here, we will discuss how you can clear your employment-based green card interview with ease. Let’s get started.
Employment-Based Green Card Interview
Simply put, an employment-based green card is a green card that provides legal permission to foreign nationals to live and work in the U.S. To secure a green card and gain entry into the United States, most individuals choose to go for the employment route if family-based options are not available.
You might be living abroad or might already be in the United States on a non-immigrant visa like a student visa or H1B. You can secure a green card for yourself if your employer is ready to sponsor you. However, it is necessary for the employer to try and fill the position with a U.S. citizen or a current green card holder first before hiring a foreign national.
What Is a Green Card Interview?
The green card interview is the final step through which you can secure a green card based on your employment. Before arriving at a final decision, the U.S. immigration authorities make an attempt to better know the applicant by meeting them in person.
This way, they can review all the documents and attached documents, cross-verify the original documents, and ask any relevant questions on the go.
Employment-Based I-485 Interview vs. the Basic I-485 Interview
Although the process involved in securing a green card, whether you go with the employment route or the family route, is the same. The interview questions, however, do depend a lot on the route you choose to take.
As a matter of fact, you will be asked questions related to your employment (your job role, your role in the company, etc.) during an employment-based I-485 interview. However, this is not the case with the basic I-485 interview where you are asked about your family, spouse, marriage, and the like.
Items to Take to Your Employment-Based Green Card Interview
You will be provided with an interview notice along with a list of required documents, which include:
- Your current I-94 record
- Your previous and current passports that contain U.S. visa stamps along with entry and exit stamps
- Original birth certificate
- Photo identification ID, like a driver’s license
- Either a combination of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and advance parole (AP) or a combined EAD/AP card
- I-140 approval notice, if applicable
- Evidence that you are a non-immigrant (visa stamps, I-20s, I-797 approval notices and so on)
- Letters that confirm your previous employment
- A job offer from your sponsoring employer explaining your job duties along with a duly signed O-485 form
- Pay stubs of the last two months
- Tax transcripts of the last three years
- A medical examination and vaccination record
- Photocopies of transcripts, diplomas, and other relevant educational documents
It is important to note that if your documents are in a language other than English, you must accompany them with a certified English translation.
This list of documents suggested above may contain documents which might not apply to your case. In that event, you are not required to carry those. However, if you are in doubt, we will highly recommend asking a professional.
Employment-Based Green Card Interview Questions
You will be asked certain green card interview questions by a USCIS officer who will also review your application to determine if you are eligible for the green card. The officer will also review the attached documents and your I-140 petition to determine if all the information provided by you is genuine.
They might also ask you an array of questions including:
- Who you are going to work with
- Your educational background
- The duties and salary of your job profile outlined in the I-140 petition
- The biographical information provided by you in your green card application
- Further, if you are offered a role which is different than the one outlined in the I-140 petition, you will be asked about the details related to your new position to determine if you are the right fit.
Employment-Based Green Card Timeline
Once you have filed form I-485, you need to go through more various steps to get a green card. Although all the applicants go through the same steps, the exact timeline may vary depending on your application, the caseload in the USCIS office where you have filed, and your ability to file an accurate application without any errors.
Let’s have a look at the green card processing steps.
Receipt of application
The USCIS receives your application, ideally within two to three weeks of filing. If you have filed your application properly, you will be initially informed via a letter which confirms the receipt of the application. This letter is known as Form I-797 C and is mailed to you within 2-3 weeks of filing.
This confirmation letter officially indicates that you are an adjustment of the status applicant. This will begin your green card timeline.
However, if you have not signed form I-485 properly, the USCIS may reject your application or send an additional notice requesting more documents.
Biometrics appointment notice
Once you have become an official adjustment of status applicant, you will have to get your biometrics done. For this, you will receive a biometrics appointment date along with a time and location. More often than not, the location is the nearest USCIS Application Support Center.
the USCIS will take your fingerprints to conduct a quick criminal background check. Do not feel nervous, this is a mandatory process and all applicants are required to go through it.
Also known as the biometric screening, the biometrics appointment is a short appointment of 30 minutes or more where a USCIS officer will collect your fingerprints, signature, and photograph. You will be provided with a list of documents you need to bring with you. Essentially, you will be asked to provide government-issued photo identification ID documents to enter the building.
The documents that can serve this purpose include:
- Driver’s license
- Military photo identification
- A photo identification card issued by the state
It is important to note that the biometrics appointment is not an interview but just an appointment to collect and verify your biometric information.
You will soon receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) if you have submitted Form I-765, also known as an Application for Employment Authorization, and Form I-131, or Application for Travel Document. This card combined the EAD and advance parole travel document in one.
If you have passed all the previous stages successfully, you will be soon called for an interview. This happens approximately 4 to 10 months after filing. However, in various cases, the USCIS doesn’t require you to attend the interview.
There is nothing to be afraid of. Interviews are an integral part of the process. Although the entire duration depends on your case, it will more likely be less than 30 minutes.
Adjustment of status interview
If you are asked to attend an adjustment of status interview, you should go prepared. We highly recommend that you to review your employment-based I-485 form and other related forms and be familiar with all the questions you might be asked.
You should also carry the following list of documents to get started:
- A completed copy of your adjustment of status application and immigrant petition. Your documents will be reviewed by a USCIS officer, thus be prepared with all the answers
- Your EAD card, if you have one
- Originals of all the important documents that you might have submitted
- Your passport
- Reception of permanent residence
After Your Interview
If you’ve gone through your interview successfully, you will be provided with permanent residence right at the end of the interview. Once approved, you will receive your green card via mail. In case your application is denied, the USCIS will mail you a notice explaining the reasons behind the denial.
It is important to note that once you have received your green card, your EAD card will no longer be a requirement. You can enjoy all the benefits of a permanent resident of the United States. You can travel outside the U.S. and return without any issues because you now have a valid green card.
We understand that securing an employment-based green card is a great feeling. We hope this guide has provided you with the required insight into obtaining an employment-based green card. The key here is to equip yourself with all the documents and answer all the interview questions properly to avoid any delays in the process.