Which documents should the applicant bring to a family green card interview?

Last update: December 31, 2018

What is the goal of the interview?

It is to enable human-driven assessment of the applicant’s application and a real-time conversation between the applicant and the person who will make the decision on the green card application. When the interview takes place, detailed information about the applicant is available and can be discussed. Also, up until the point of the interview, all communication between the applicant and U.S. immigration agencies has been through formal letters, documents and applications; in this phase, the parties have a live conversation.

Which documents should the applicant bring to the interview?
The interview letter states what U.S. immigration agencies should be brought to the interview, either using checkboxes or a letter-based code. It is also helpful to understand and anticipate what the officer needs: he or she needs original documents, the most up-to-date documents (tax returns and police certificates) and any new information.

What are the main original (not copies) documents the applicant should bring to the interview?
Because U.S. immigration agencies no longer accepts original documents with forms, this is when the officer might want to confirm that documents submitted as part of the applicant’s application are genuine and not forged:

  • The applicant’s passport and any ID used in the United States, especially employment authorization and advance parole documents, if any.
  • Originals of the applicant’s supporting documents (e.g. birth certificates, marriage certificates, bank statements).

What are the main updated documents the applicant should bring to the interview?

Two main categories:

  • The sponsor’s up-to-date U.S. tax return: if the interview takes place after april 15 (the deadline for U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to file their taxes), but the latest tax return was not submitted in earlier phases, then it is highly likely that the consular officer will ask for this document during the interview.
  • In certain cases, up-to-date police certificates are needed as they are valid only a year (unless it is a country to which you have not returned since obtaining the certificate).

What are the main new documents that the applicant should bring to the interview?

Three suggestions:

  • The results of the medical exam, unless they were sent directly to the officer.
  • New information or supporting documents that the applicant would like to present to the consular officer: if, for instance, the applicant got married shortly before filing his or her green card application, he or she might now have more evidence demonstrating that it is a real marriage. The applicant should bring the original documents and a complete set of copies that he or she can give to the consular officer.
  • A printed version of the appointment letter, which might be needed to enter the building and in the conversation with the officer.