What to Bring to a USCIS Interview (AOS)
A USCIS Interview for Adjustment of Status is the culmination of the journey to becoming a permanent resident in the US. As such, it can be a stressful moment to prepare for, especially since it seems like you need to bring half your house along with you. To help ease the process of your USCIS interview, here is a clear-cut list of what you will be told to bring, and what you will most likely need.
Forms You Will Need
Since my husband and I hired a lawyer for my immigration case, we had already sent in all the forms and supporting evidence beforehand. I highly recommend getting this over and done with before the interview to reduce stress and to minimise the possibility of anything going wrong, such as an improperly filled in form or missing evidence. You will only need to bring these to your USCIS interview if you have not already submitted them. If you do not choose to submit the forms beforehand, you will need to bring the following to the AOS Interview:
- An I-693, or a Medical Examination and Vaccination Report in a sealed envelope. This is a form which needs to be filled in by a doctor on your behalf to certify that you do not have any communicable diseases and that you are immunised against everything the US government requires. You'll need to book a medical examination with a civil surgeon who will fill in the form and let you know if you need to get any vaccines.
- An I-864, or Affidavit of Support for each sponsor you have (for me, this was just my husband). This will need to be completed with the supporting evidence:
- Your most recent Tax Return and W-2s of the sponsor
- An Employment Verification Letter
- Your sponsor's passport or other evidence of his/her US citizenship
Documents You Will Definitely Need
These are all documents that everyone must bring to the USCIS Interview. These are the ones you will certainly or very probably be asked to show. If you do not bring these, the interview is likely to be postponed until you can provide them. I strongly advise getting these together at least a month before your interview in order to make sure you have everything which is required and to get hold of anything you might be missing. It is also a very good idea to make copies of all these documents, because the interviewer is entitled to keep the originals if he feels like it. It's unlikely that you will be required to hand over the originals or the copies, but it's far better to be safe than sorry.
- Immigrant's passport, valid for at least the next 6 months OR a valid US driver's license (if you have both, bring both)
- US citizen's (sponsor's) passport and US driver's license (again, bring both to be on the safe side)
As a side note, it's a good idea for an application based on marriage if the address on the IDs is the same, so updating your driver's licenses to your current address is advisable if you have time.
- Immigrant and US Citizen's Birth Certificates
- Immigrant's EAD and I-512 (Authorisation for Advance Parole), if you have them. I did not have them, but if you do, you need to bring them.
- Any other immigration documents you have been issued in the past (for me this was my I-94)
For an application based on marriage, you should also bring:
- Your marriage certificate
- Any documentation which proves you are a legitimate couple (joint lease, joint mortgage, joint bank statements, joint loans etc.)
These are the things which you should definitely bring with you. The only proof of a legitimate relationship we brought was a checkbook for our joint bank account, but depending on the interviewer, you may need more solid proof than this. You should try to bring as many documents as possible which support your case.
Documents Which You Should Definitely Bring, But Which You Are Unlikely To Need
Although you will be told to bring these things, it is less likely that an interviewer will ask to see them unless any red flags are raised during the interview. It is still important that you bring these items to a USCIS interview. If you do not bring them and the interviewer asks to see them, the interview could be postponed, which will delay the adjustment of status.
- All the documentation you used to enter the US (this includes past visas, old passports and any advance parole documents. Depending on the complexity of the case and whether you have previously entered the US illegally, overstayed a visa or even entered the US on a number of different visas, these documents might be more relevant than they were for me.)
- Further documentation to prove your relationship is legitimate (this includes joint tax returns, photographs and correspondence between the two of you)
It is usually recommended to put together a photograph album of you and your spouse, complete with labels stating the date and location. Whilst we put one together and voluntarily presented it (the interviewer didn't ask to see it) he barely flipped through it. Only if the interviewer is suspicious about your relationship will he trawl through minute evidence of your life together.
Items Which You May or May Not Have
These items are things which, depending on your situation, may or may not apply to you. If they do apply to you, you should definitely include them.
- Birth certificates for any children you have either jointly or separately
- Any divorce or death certificates for previous spouses
- Any records of previous arrests or criminal charges
- Certified English translations of any documents which are in a foreign language.
Any other items which you think might be relevant should also be taken with you. In a standard USCIS interview where there are no underlying issues which should stand in the way of an adjustment of status, it is unlikely that many documents beyond identification and some proof of a legitimate marriage will be requested, but it is important that you bring everything that you possibly can which will support your case.
© 2013 Emily Nemchick