The I-130, I-485 interview, or green card marriage interview, is an interview based on marriage to a US citizen and then filing for adjustment while remaining in United States. In other words, going from either your immigrant or non-immigrant visa to a green card through your marriage to a US citizen while remaining in the United States as the paperwork processes with US Citizenship and Immigration Services, and then that ultimate interview that you will have in person with an immigration officer.
Back to the question, what to expect in this interview. First of all, what a lot of people don’t understand is this is a dual interview. There are two applications that the officer will be adjudicating at the same time. One of them is the I-130 interview, which is the petition for alien relative filed by the US citizen’s spouse for the alien relative, and the other is I-485 adjustment of status filed by the alien relative in the United States.
Officers handle these interviews differently and I can’t overemphasize that enough. Every officer’s different in how they adjudicate these. Some are very kind and friendly and they go through the process in a very friendly manner. Some of them are very aggressive and some of them don’t show much emotion at all. So don’t read too much into how the interviewer conducts the interview. They’re all doing the same thing. They’re all trying to figure out whether or not the I-130 is approvable. In other words, is the marriage bonafide, was the marriage entered into for love or for immigration benefits? The second is, is the person who is married to the US citizen and filing for that green card,, is that person approvable? Are they admissible to the United States?
Two things that I see come up the most often in these interviews, and that’s what I’m going to hit on, is number one, what was the intent of that immigrant when they came in the country? Did they enter on a B visa? Did they enter on a F-1 visa? Did they enter on a TN visa, an H-1 visa, an L visa? How did they get here? The second is, what has transpired from the time that this application was filed and the date of the interview? In other words, the officer wants to see a compilation of evidence from the day you filed your application to the day you have your interview. I see that error a lot, where somebody files their application and then they show up to the interview eight months, 12 months later, and they do not bring any additional evidence from their relationship from the date of filing to the date of interview.
One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give, make sure that from the day you file your paperwork to the day you have your interview, that you continue to pile evidence of your relationship. What types of evidence? Well, there’s the two best forms of evidence you can do for an I-130 petition for alien relative through marriage to a US citizen are, number one, have children, which not everybody will have. If you do that, that is one of the best forms of evidence. The other is joint finances. If you don’t have a joint bank account, if you don’t share finances, then do it. Make sure you combine your accounts. Make sure you show proof that you have joint finances.
Also, any other joint evidence you can provide, joint utility bills, joint phone bills, health insurance, car insurance, life insurance, healthcare proxies, anything that would go to show that you are in fact married, that it’s bonafide, that it’s for love and not for immigration. They want to see that evidence at the time you file, and also additional evidence to fill in the gap at the time of the interview.
Back to the other question, what’s the intent upon entry for that immigrant to the country? Did they enter on a B Visa? Did they enter on an F1 Visa? Did they enter on an H-1? How did they get here? What was their intent when they entered? How close to the entry into the United States was this filing made? Were they married before they entered the country or after they entered the country? All these questions come into play at that interview. Why? Because that immigration officer is trying to determine whether or not that immigrant entered the country fraudulently or not. Did they have immigrant intent when they came into the country or was that immigrant intent developed after they came into the country? Very important question.
What did they say to the officer at the Department of State when they received their visa at the consulate? Or what did they say to the officer at the border when they entered? Did they tell them they were coming to Disneyland? Did they tell them they were coming to get married? What was their intent upon entry? Those are the two things that are adjudicated in these interviews. One, is that marriage bonafide? Two, what was the intent of that immigrant upon entry to the United States? Did they commit fraud upon entry? If done correctly, both of these issues can be dealt within an application. If the application is properly supported with bonafide to the marriage, then the I-130 will be approved.
If issues related to the entry to the United States on whatever visa you entered on, whether it was a B-1, B-2, F-1, J-1, TN, whatever it might be, if dealt with correctly, it can be approved and dealt with in the interview. I must emphasize that proper preparation is necessary, especially if you entered the country on a B1, B-2 visa. You need to make sure you address any issues that are related to immigrant, non-immigrant intent upon entry to the United States.
Hopefully you found this video helpful, that it addressed some questions about that I-130, I-485 interview. If you have any additional questions, feel free to reach out to us, send us an email, give us a call, visit our website. Like this video so you can get more content in the future. Give us your comments. Let us know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for watching and have a great day.