If your permanent residency final interview is coming up, pat yourself on the back. You've come a long way on your journey toward getting your green card, and you're about to reach the finish line. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services may request a final interview with you about your employment-based green card application.
One way to become a permanent resident of the U.S. is through employment. The State Department offers visas that can lead to green cards to immigrants with extraordinary abilities, such as athletes and entertainers and renowned professors and scientists. Managers who work for international companies are also eligible, and so are certain skilled workers and highly educated professionals. "Special immigrants" in a variety of classifications and immigrant investors who will create jobs in the U.S. are also eligible for employment-based visas.
Getting the Interview Notice
Most employment-based green card applications go through without an interview. However, if USCIS wants to interview you, the agency will schedule an interview by sending a Notice of Interview to your mailing address approximately 2 to 3 weeks after the Biometrics Appointment where your photo and fingerprints are taken. The notice will include a list of documents that you're required to bring to the interview. You may want to consult a lawyer to help you prepare beforehand and represent you during the interview.
Reasons for the Interview
According to USCIS, there are two reasons you might be interviewed before the agency approves your employment-based petition. First, USCIS may want to interview you to make sure you meet the legal requirements for employment-based permanent residency. The interviewer verifies that you're qualified for the job you hold and that you have a legitimate employment relationship with your employer. Secondly, the interviewer needs to verify that you don't have any criminal history or immigration issues that affect your green card eligibility.
After the Interview
Your final interview can result in several outcomes. You might be approved for a green card at the interview with no further restrictions. If that is the case, an adjudicating officer will stamp your passport with proof of your status as a permanent resident. In other cases, a supervisor might have to review your file, especially if the agency is still waiting for your background checks to come back clear, or the adjudicating officer may need to analyze issues with your case. If you don't get approval at the final interview, you can expect to get an update within 30 to 60 days.
Marilyn Lindblad practices law on the west coast of the United States. She has been a freelance writer since 2007. Her work has appeared on various websites. Lindblad received her Juris Doctor from Lewis and Clark Law School.