Successfully finished my AOS interview and thought to share my experience here. Had used this forum extensively to read through the posts and so wanted to share for others benefit. Here it goes....
Interview Notice Received:
Received a request for the initial in person interview from Chicago USCIS office for both myself and my wife. Date was set to be June 15th, 2009 at 8am. I received this letter about 4 weeks earlier (in may) so had a month's time to get my paper work ready. Since the request was for an interview, and no query was raised to expect what they are looking for exactly, I had to prepare for a spectrum of possible questions.
Started working on the required information right away. It took me almost a week to get things in order. The most important thing is to have the documentation in orderly fashion for easy reach without panic and mess if the officer asks for a specific document. Created and printed my own cover sheets for each section (Like Passports, Birth certificates, Bank statements, I-797/H1B copies, EAD's etc) and arranged my papers accordingly. One thing I received from the lawyer was to get the "employment verification letter" closest to the interview date. This will eliminate any possible questions I took this letter day before the interview from my employer.
Left my kid at my friends home before night so that we don't need to rush to the day care early in the morning.
On the interview Day:
Interviews were setup at 8am for me and 8.30am for my wife. So, called the Cab (Didn't want to drive to make myself less worried about parking and all other things) before night and asked him to be at my door by 7am. woke up at 6am and was ready by 7am. Had a nice cup of coffee and at Sharp 7am, cabbie called and said he is waiting for us. So took our paper work and hopped in the cab.
Here is the paper work I carried with me:
Note: I took copies for every document I carried just in case the office would like to keep one for the file
- Original Passports
Original EAD cards (current and expired)
Original Interview letters, Transfer notices, Finger printing notices
Original Advance Paroles (both current and expired)
Original Marriage certificate
Wedding Pictures (took few from the album, didn't carry the whole set)
Original Birth certificates (including the Kids')
Tax Returns (2006/2007/2008)
Employment Verification Letter
Arrived at the USCIS office at 7.30am. Quickly went through the security check. Staff was very friendly was joking with us. I observed very few people in the seating area. Took the escalator to the second floor and the guard guided us to the Waiting Counter. The lady at the counter asked for our Interview Letters which I handed it to her. She asked if we are being represented by a attorney and I said YES. She asked us to wait in the waiting area and said once the attorney shows up, attorney should bring these interview letters to her. So we went and sat down and about 7.50am our attorney showed up. She promptly presented these letters to the Lady at the counter and we were ready to go in any time. Our attorney asked if we have any questions and I asked how long the interview would last. She said about 15 to 20 minutes is typical. So we just chatted a bit and really didn't talk about the interview.
As a word of caution, attorney did mention not to speak for my wife if she is asked a question and said please do not even turn your head towards her. "Officers do not like this and they expect the same behavior from your wife".
In the Interview:
At 8.15am, we were called and the Officer opened the door for us. The Officer was gentle, slow, methodical and very thorough in his work. We walked down the hall way and entered his office. He quickly asked us to take the Oath and we did. After that asked us to be seated and opened my file first (as I was primary and sponsoring my wife). He asked us to show our "Driving Licenses" and verified them.
He went through the whole I-485 application, every single field on the application asking questions. Here are some:
- What is your SSN
What is your DOB
What is your wife's full name
What is her DOB
When were you married
How did you enter into this country
What did you study
When was your last out of country visit
Have you ever been out of status
How long have you been working for your employer
Can you show me your employer verification letter
Can you show me your Practical Training approval from INS
How long were you on OPT
From when you moved on to H1B
When did you graduate here
Did you change employers at all?
Do you have any children?
Can you give me the Birth certificate of your child.
Show me your birth certificate.
Note: The following questions all have NO as the answer checked in the back of the application form.
Have you ever been arrested?
Have you ever registered to vote?
Have you ever been indicted?
Have you ever been deported?
Then he asked for my recent 2 years of Tax returns. When he saw I had 3 years, he asked for all 3 and said he would like to keep them on the file, and I quickly nodded my head as Yes.
Then, the most important part of the interview happened. I was asked to verify the signatures on the application form. Since the 2007 rush filings had our lawyer signed this application form, I had to resign the entire application.
He then said OK, and closed my file and moved on to my wife's file. Here are some questions that were asked
- When were you married
How did you enter into this country
What visa you were holding
Are you working now
Where is your employment verification letter
How long you know each other
What is your SSN number
He then took my wife's signatures on the application form and closed the file.
He then said, Since the immigration dates are not current, at this point of time they cannot make a decision on the application. He said, once the dates are available, we will be notified in due time about the FINAL DECISION. He asked if we have any questions and we said NO. He then said we are done, so we rose to our feet, thanked him for his time, and walked out. I looked at the watch and now its 8.45, so took about 30 minutes to complete the interview process. Our attorney then said, its all done now and all we have to do is WAIT, which I think we are not so new to .
We completed the whole interview without a glitch. I was little bit excited/concerned in first minute of the interview, which I think is normal but was very composed. This helped and of course the fact that I submitted every single document the officer asked, helped.
I hope this will help all those folks who are getting ready for the interview. I am thankful to this forum and wish you all good luck.