EB-1C Green Card Approval - Timeline and Experience (Newly Married Couple)
Wanted to share some positive news and my timeline on the group. Hoping this helps some of the folks. Feel free to DM me in case you need any further inputs:
My case timeline:
Jan 9, 2019: Applied for Employment based I-140
May 24, 2019: I-140 approved
---Long wait for Priority date to get current and got married in 2020---
Oct 2020: Priority date is current
Oct 26, 2020: Applied for I-485, I-131 and I-765 all together for both spouse and myself. Included all relevant documents along with medicals in the packet.
Nov 26, 2020: Case was received (All the case numbers showed the same status)
---Radio silence for a long time---
Feb 6, 2021: Biometrics appointment received on mail
Mar 10, 2021: Completed Biometrics appointment
---Radio silence for a long time---
Mid May, 2021: Put in a expedited request for AP/EAD combo card as I had to travel home on a urgent basis on humanitarian grounds
Jun 1, 2021: Expedite request approved by USCIS without any additional documentation etc. but no further progress on the AP/EAD combo card
Jun 15, 2021: Received Interview notice for both spouse and I
Jul 13, 2021: Completed i-485 interview at the Field office. Interview went well and then officer conveyed that they'll approve the case once the admin stuff is done
Jul 14, 2021: Case was approved (i-485) for both spouse and I as per the USCIS Case Status online
---Now waiting for the Green Cards and Welcome letters to arrive---
Overall, interview experience was very friendly and casual. My spouse and I had prepped a ton of documents, photos and everything came into use during the 25 mins of interview.
Wish you all the very best and good luck in your journey.
Detailed Interview Experience
We received the interview notice on June 15, 2021 with about a month to go for the actual interview at the San Francisco office. I'll break down the interview into two parts ie.. 1) Documents 2) Interview Experience
1) Documents for the Interview
Our lawyers were being quite casual and as a result we had to do all the due diligence ourselves online and on this forum to get inputs of all the documents. We carried a total of 3 folders and a photo album with 200 photos
Folder 1 (Originals) - Carry all originals for you and your spouse/kids - Make sure to get back all originals
- Social Security Cards
- Birth Certificates
- Marriage Certificate
- California IDs / Drivers License
- All Immigration Documents
- Green Card Interview Notice
- Biometrics Appointment
- I-140 approval
- I-485J Confirmation of Bona Fide Job
- Prior visa i.e. H1 or L1 approval notices
- Latest I-94
- Health Insurance
- School / University certificates
FOLDER 2 (Copies of Employment History, Financials, Immigration documents etc.)
- Copies of Passports
- Copies of IDs (Social Security, California ID, Marriage, Birth etc.)
- Copies of All Immigration Documents mentioned above
- 2 months Pay stubs from Employer
- Last 3 years W2 from Employer
- Last 3 years Tax Filings Returns Transcript from IRS
- Latest Bank Statements (3 months)
- Copy of Proof of Health Insurance
- Copies of School / University Certificates
- Latest Credit Reports
- I carried copies of my investment accounts
FOLDER 3 (Proof of Bona Fide Marriage) - This is the most critical set of documents looked at by the Officer - They are looking for tangible assets or joint liability with both you and your spouse's name on it. So focus on hard evidence you can produce. We carried the following:
- Joint Lease Agreement
- Joint Renters Insurance
- Joint Tax Filing
- Spouse listed as beneficiary on 401K, Insurance and other accounts
- Joint bills such as Utility, Internet, PG&E, Car Lease etc.
- Travel Itinerary of trips we took together (We printed a sample of 5 or 6 international trips)
- Proof that we shared address in Bank Statements and other bills
Lastly, we carried a photo album with ~200 photos that catalogues our entire dating history and marriage and life together.
2) Interview itself
**Note that the primary reason the interview was trigger was due to us being a newly married couple (< 1 year) and hence we knew the big focus will be about proving the bona fide marriage
- On the interview day we reached the Field office 15 mins early (They don't allow you earlier - So plan accordingly)
- Went through airport style security
- Then reached the interview venue in the building and went to the reception
- Reception validated the interview notice and asked to take a seat in the waiting area
- 30 mins wait
- Interviewer called out our names and escorted us to the Interview room
- **Initial impressions - Interviewer came across as friendly and experienced so that's good
- Started with me (Primary applicant) with some basic questions - Full name, DOB, Place of Birth, Employment History, Salary, Job Title etc.
- Then clarified that we don't want to have our lawyers with us today and made to sign a waiver that said we don't want to have a lawyer with us today
- Interviewer asked me about my background and qualifications that made me eligible for EB-1C (Multi National Manager)
- Along those questions the interviewer kept asking for originals and copies for validation ie. passports, i-94, IDs, social security, birth, marriage, employment history (W2, Tax, Pay stubs) etc. And this happens to be a little tough as you have to keep juggling between handing over documents and answering questions
- Then the interviewer switched over to standard security questions and went through a detailed list of 10+ questions (Answer was no for me for all questions)
- Interviewer now switched over to spouse with the same basic questions - Full name, DOB, Place of Birth, Employment History, Salary, Job Title etc.
- She clarified with my spouse that she's maintained legal immigration status all through the stay in US
- My spouse had a good job with reputed company so we were able to produce the same documents that I had with me
- Along with those questions, I kept sharing the originals and copies of documents for my spouse as she was answering those questions ie. passports, i-94, IDs, birth, marriage, social security, employment history (W2, Tax, Pay stubs) etc.
-Then the interviewer switched over to standard security questions and went through a detailed list of 10+ questions (Answer was no for my spouse for all questions)
**At this point interviewer said I want to cut to the chase - you both are married for less than 1 year so I want you both to prove your bona fide marriage
- I said OK sure, can I start producing all the documents
- Interviewer said well that's great - if you're prepared then let me start by asking a few questions and then you can give me documents / proof
- I was asked one questions "How did you meet your spouse and give me a brief timeline"
- I answered in detail with a brief timeline of our dating history, how we met, our marriage etc. - Please prepare well and be in sync with your spouse
- Then she asked my spouse if we ever lived in together - My spouse said yes and we started presenting proof (Lease, insurance etc. etc. )
- Then she asked my spouse if we met each other's parents - So at this point my spouse walked over to the interviewer and pulled out our photo album - She had spent a lot of hours preparing it - So started showing events of us meeting parents, our international trips, etc. etc.
- The office took our about 13 photos from our album (She was primarily interested in photos with parents and our romantic / kissing photos - Take a few romantic ones if you have :)
- I presented more documents to the officer just to be sure that it's documented - Travel itineraries, Everything joint proofs - Tax filing, PG&E, Utilities, etc. etc. listed above
***At the end she said everything looks great and you both should received your green card in 90 days. My spouse clarified so that means "approved" right ? and the interviewer responded stating yes it's approved and we have a few admin stuff that should get done in a few days.
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