On Oct-5th I and my wife (derivative) had our EB1B AOS interview with the Portland Field Office (FO). Our cases have been approved on the spot post interview. Whole interview process went on for 40 minutes. Our interview was scheduled at 12.30PM, we reached the Field Office 30 minutes before, but we were not allowed in until 15 min before scheduled time, I don't know whether it's the same for other FO's.
After the security check, we waited in the waiting room (Vending boxes available if anybody wants to have a snack or beverage while waiting) for about 30 minutes before IO came and called my name. Immigration officer (IO) was probably the nicest and most professional officer we have ever come across. Officer took signatures from us that we would not be using attorney services. Our interview started with the oath by saying that we would be answering truthfully. We have not been asked for photos or fingerprints or interview notices. We have been asked to remove our masks momentarily for identity verification. His first comment was that we brought a lot of documents, probably that is true, I thought better to be over prepared than under prepared, in fact after the interview officer said thanks to both of us for bringing all the required documents and arranging them orderly,
IO started the interview by asking both of our passports and drivers IDs, other than these 2 original documents and I-693s (we did not submit I-693 during AOS filing) we have not been asked for any of the originals. IO verified all the details in the I-485 application for both of us one after another. While verifying the details, he was not even looking at us, it sounded almost like he wanted to finish the interview quickly. IO opened the I-693 envelope in front of us, after verifying all the details he stamped I-693 (don't know what the stamping was about) , he must have spent at most 2 minutes each on I-693s, then he entered something in his system.
The majority of the interview time was spent on YES/NO questions, probably this was the only time IO was paying little attention to what we were answering). We both answered YES to question 25 (arrests/citations) on I-485 application as we both have some past traffic tickets and we had paid fines for those, he was making sure they were just traffic citations not arrests related to crime or any other activity, we handed over our traffic citation records to him, and he kept those with him. I found mixed information about Question 25 on different forums whether to say YES or NO, some said it's ok to select NO for traffic citations and some said YES would be better as it is not a punishable offense related to AOS. One of the things the officer mentioned was that I did a PhD from xxxx University, interestingly I don't think I have mentioned my educational qualifications in the I-485 application, probably IO has looked at my I-140 application where I have education qualifications. We were not asked any I-944 related questions. He took signatures from us at this stage saying that all details have been verified in front of us.
After YES/NO questions the officer asked us whether any documents we would like to share as we brought many documents (yes he again mentioned it). We first gave him both our DOB copies as we did not submit our updated versions of DOB during filing, though he has taken the copies, he least bothered look at the info, next we gave him our marriage proof documents (we provided all the documents where both of our names present; copies of marriage certificate, house purchase agreement, US born kid DOB certificate, auto and home insurances, our travel itineraries together, tax returns, health insurance proof, house EMI payment, 401k beneficiary details, Health Savings account statement, some other joint statements). He has kept all the marriage proof documents with him. We asked him whether he would like to see our photo album as a marriage proof, he said firm NO as we have already provided enough supporting documents. Details he clarified (not questioned) from I-485 were our Names, DOBs, place of births, my parents place of birth, address, my job title, my job location, my company name, my salary, if I have any job change (no in our case), marriage date, number of kids, any previous marriages or divorces for both, what visa we entered (both F1), what visa currently we are on (Mine (O1) and wife (H1B)), first entry date, last US entry date, any other names than the current ones, previous jobs for me (primary applicant), outside of I-485 application he also got clarification from us about our US educational details (both PhD) since we both came to US as a F1 students.
After filing AOS in OCT2020, my O1 visa and my wife's passport have been renewed, we have provided copies of both documents though the officer did not ask for those documents, we still provided him, as we simply did not want any RFE post interview. Though he got clarification from my wife that she is working on H1B, he was not interested in taking any of her work related supporting documents. I have asked a couple of times whether he needs any other documents including copies of SSN, drivers IDs. Finally he said from today (5th OCT) we both are permanent residents, after that in a very detailed way he was explaining how we can use green cards for our benefit, how long it is valid (10 years), and some other related things. He said it might take a month to 2 months to receive our cards in hand, if we don't then call USCIS. Asked us if we had any questions, we said NO and he accompanied us to the waiting room. Came out by 2PM. After few hours both of our statuses have been changed to "New Card is being produced"
Please see my profile for TIMELINE
Dress to wear: We have thought long about which dress to wear, forums suggested mixed info, so finally we went with business casual (more casual than business, I have seen some people coming with very casual dress, with hoodies and some with formal suits). sounds cliche but wear comfortable but not revealing dress (this is recommended by our law firm)
Items to Cary: You can carry any size bags, jackets, laptops that pass through security.
How early to reach: Strictly not 15min before appointment time, you might end up waiting outside.
Documents we carried:
I-693 in sealed envelope
We have taken copies to all original documents for both primary and derivative, at start of the interview I told the officer that we have the copies ready for all originals if needs any:
Interview notices and drivers IDs (these are initial documents required to show to security to enter inside the USCIS office)
Copy of I-140 approval notice
Original of all passports and copies all of pages (especially if your passport is renewed after AOS filing better to carry copies of all pages)
Originals and copies of Immigrations documents (EADs (F1/AOS(if received)), visa (H1B/O1 (797)) documents, F1 I-20s, all the immigration receipt notices, marriage certificate, DOBs, DOB supporting affidavits, previous job letters, degree certificates and transcripts
Employment verification letter, last 3 months pay slips, last 3 years W2 forms for both (officer only kept primary applicant copies with him, was not interested in derivative copies), last 3 years IRS tax returns, resume, latest supplemental J(since I am in same job as I-140, did not ask for it though)
SSNs, I-94s, Kids DOB, latest credit reports, I-485 application packets (law firm recommended to carry), last couple of months bank statements
Traffic violations record (since we selected yes for Question 25 in I-485)