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July 22, 2020

Dear Sophie: How should I prepare for a green card interview?

Here’s another edition of “Dear Sophie,” the advice column that answers immigration-related questions about working at technology companies.

“Your questions are vital to the spread of knowledge that allows people all over the world to rise above borders and pursue their dreams,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration attorney. “Whether you’re in people ops, a founder or seeking a job in Silicon Valley, I would love to answer your questions in my next column.”

“Dear Sophie” columns are accessible for Extra Crunch subscribers; use promo code ALCORN to purchase a one- or two-year subscription for 50% off.


Dear Sophie:

My employer sponsored me and my family for green cards. We’re expecting to get a green card interview scheduled soon. What should we expect and how should we prepare for our interview?

— Nervous in Newark

Dear Nervous,

Thanks for reaching out. Great to hear that you’re in the final stretch of the green card process! Fortunately USCIS is starting up in-person interviews again now that they have COVID-precautions in place. For more info, check out what to expect and how to prepare for a green card interview.

Before 2017, USCIS waived interviews for most employment-based green card candidates. But an executive order directing federal agencies to implement screening and vetting processes prompted USCIS to institute a green card interview for all candidates, including dependents.

USCIS offices just reopened to the public on June 4, after being closed for nearly two months due to COVID-19, so scheduling — or rescheduling — a green card interview may require a bit of a wait. Be aware that USCIS tries to schedule families together for their interview at the same time and location; however, this is not guaranteed. USCIS may waive the interview requirement for children 14 years old and younger.

Always inform your immigration attorney of any changes to your employment prior to or immediately after the interview, such as:


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