Preparing for an Adjustment of Status Interview (Spouse Based)

What is an Adjustment Interview?
Adjustment of Status is the process to which one petitions and applies to become a lawful permanent resident after being lawfully admitted into the United States.

NOTE: Adjustment of Status is NOT where the foreign national intends to go back to his or her country of origin for the interview (this is called Consular Processing and will not be discussed in this blog).
For purposes of this blog, we will be focusing on the interview required when a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident petitions (on Form I-130) for their foreign national spouse, while the foreign national spouse simultaneously applies to receive a green card (Form I-485). Once all required documentation and fees have been paid, both the U.S. spouse and the foreign national will be called into an interview at their local United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) office.

What is the purpose of the interview? USCIS conducts interviews with couples to ensure that a marriage is "bona fide" or a marriage entered into because of love. USCIS wants to ensure that no one is attempting to fraud immigration officers by pretending to have a lawful and real marriage, when in reality the goal is to obtain documentation and then divorce once the process is completed.

What happens at the interview?
It is important to note that not any case is the same. All cases are drastically different and the immigration officers that interview also can conduct interviews very differently. However, in general, an interview will be held in a small office with the petitioner (U.S. Citizen/LPR), the foreign national, and the immigration officer. The officer will usually ask basic, background questions to the petitioner first (i.e. name, date of birth, date of marriage, name of parents). Once the officer has got through the petitioner's biographic information, the officer then begins to ask the foreign national questions. These questions begin the same, however, once the biographic information has been stated, the immigration officer will start to dive into the facts of the relationship between the petitioner and foreign national. Usually during these questions, the petitioner is not allowed to speak or help the foreign national to answer any questions.

What questions will I be asked?
Again, each case is entirely different and no interview will ask the same questions. However, a foreign national should be expected to hear questions similar to:

  • When did you two meet?
  • Where was your first date?
  • Where did you get married and what is the date of that marriage?
  • What is the petitioner's parents names and have you ever met the parents?
  • When did you know that he/she was the one? How did you know?
  • Do you have any children together?
  • Do you plan/want to have children?
  • Do you own a joint banking account/mix funds or do you keep things separate?
  • Who does the laundry? Who pays the bills?

  • What happens after the questioning stops?
    Once the immigration officer is finished asking all of his or her questions, the officer will then look through evidence submitted either previously with the application or evidence presented at the beginning of the interview.

    Anything else?
    Once the officer has asked his or her questions and reviewed all documentation.... you're done! .... or at least done for that day. At the conclusion of the interview, the immigration officer has three different options concerning the outcome of the case: (1) approve the case right then and there; (2) request additional documentation; or (3) hold the case open for further consideration, either by the officer or by a supervisor. Couples are rarely called back in for a second interview, however, it can happen. It is important to always fully listen and understand the next steps after the interview has concluded.


    If you and your loved one are planning on applying for adjustment of status, it is very important to contact an experienced immigration attorney to assist in the preparation of the application and accompany you to your interview. Adjustment of Status is a complex process that could have lasting negative effects on a foreign national. Let Hall & Dixon immigration attorneys fight for your rights and ensure that you get the best results as possible. Call or text Hall & Dixon immigration attorneys today at 704-993-6825 for a FREE consultation.

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