Documents to take to residency interviews

The process to adjust status to residency in the U.S. can be long and tedious, sometimes taking nearly two years to finally receive your residency interview. With all that waiting, it’s important to be sure that you bring the right documents with you to your interview, to ensure approval. Otherwise, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will issue you a request for missing documents, which can unnecessarily delay approval of your green card for up to three months or more after your interview. Determining which documents to bring with you can be difficult, since the interview notice itself is very confusing, providing a list of documents for all different kinds of cases, not specific to each individual immigrant.

To avoid confusion and delays caused by failing to provide required documents, here are a few important items that every immigrant must bring to his or her residency interview.

    • Interview notice
    • new Medical Report  if previous one submitted has expired (most old medicals have expired, since they were only valid for one year prior to November 1, 2018)
    • current Passport & all prior Passports  
    • I-94  card (if you entered the U.S. PRIOR TO 2013 otherwise “online I-94 printout”)

 

  • Work Authorization card/Travel Permit
  • Driver’s License

 

  • ORIGINAL Birth Certificate
  • ORIGINAL Marriage Certificate for current marriage (not for past marriages)
  • ORIGINAL Divorce Decree for every marriage in the past
  • ORIGINAL/CERTIFIED Criminal Documents for any criminal case of any kind, including traffic cases which required a court appearance.  Criminal Documents must include: a) CERTIFIED Police Report or Traffic Ticket and b) CERTIFIED Court Disposition (you must bring both a & b to give to the officer at your interview)

Every U.S. Citizen or U.S. Resident sponsor should bring:

    • ORIGINAL Birth Certificate (if sponsoring a sibling) AND
    • Proof of U.S. Citizenship or U.S. Residency (i.e. ORIGINAL  Naturalization Certificate ,  a US passport or Green Card

 

  • Driver’s License

 

  • For marriage residency: U.S. Citizen or U.S. Resident Spouse’s Original Divorce Decree for every marriage in the past, in addition to extensive marital documentation (see below)
  • While not required, it’s also helpful for the U.S. Citizen or U.S. Resident to bring an updated tax return and W-2 for the current year since filing the residency case, a currently dated employer letter and current pay stubs

Marriage residency cases are particularly complicated, since in addition to the above, the USCIS officer will expect the married couple to provide extensive documentation of their lives and financial affairs together, including:

Photos of the Couple: Original Photos of pictures you have together, during the time you were dating, pictures of your wedding and all pictures you have taken since you married. Assemble photos in Photo Albums. As many as you can, the more the better. Residency interviews can go quite quickly for couples who have lots of photos. Digital Photos will not qualify. The officer will not look at digital photos on your cell phone or camera. Include at least 8 Original Photos of you as a couple together  (Wedding, Holidays, etc) for the officer to keep in the USCIS file:

  • Tax Returns FOR ALL YEARS since you got married, showing “married filing jointly” AND W-2’S for Both spouses;
  • Joint Bank accounts statements showing both spouses names since before and after you got married until present -stmts only, not checks
  • Joint Credit Card Statements/Investment Accounts showing both spouse names showing both spouse’s names since before and after you got married until present (if available)
  • Joint Auto Insurance policies & Insurance Cards showing both spouses names since before and after you got married until present
  • Joint Health Insurance card/policy & Insurance Cards since you have been married (if available)
  • Joint Warranty Deed, Joint Closing Documents, Joint Homeowner’s Insurance policy;
  • Joint Lease Agreement showing both spouses names since before and after you got married until present
  • Joint Utility Bills in Joint Names showing both spouses names since before and after you got married until present
  • Separate Utility Bills in  U.S. Citizen’s/Foreign spouse’s name showing marital address to prove you reside together even though the bill is not in both spouses names
  • Joint Auto purchase contract/Automobile Registration showing both spouse names
  • Joint Travel tickets/itineraries and boarding passes for  trips showing both spouses names since before and after you got married until present
  • Joint Receipts for items purchased together, for example, furniture showing both spouses names since before and after you got married until present
  • Joint Birth Certificate for child born to the couple (if applicable)
  • Joint Gym Memberships showing both spouses names since before and after you got married until present
  • Joint Church & Club Memberships showing both spouses names since before and after you got married until present
  • Joint BJ’s, Costco & other similar Cards showing both spouses names since before and after you got married until present
  • Other documentation to show parties have been living together as married spouses showing both spouses names since before and after you got married until present.
  • Copy of Driver’s License for both spouses showing the same marital address.

 

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