Preparing for the marriage-based adjustment of status interview with USCIS is like preparing for a big wedding ceremony. Getting ready takes at least 6 months of planning, but the day is over far too fast. Still, your wedding day wouldn’t have gone as well if you hadn’t checked and doubled checked your flower arrangements, and the same goes for immigration documents. Start collecting them early, keep them in an organized, safe place, and by all means, do not forget your immigration documents on your kitchen counter when you go in for the interview!
If you aren’t very far along in your process, you may not even think about saving documents yet. That’s a mistake! Your lawyer will eventually provide you with an extensive list of documents you need to collect and bring with you to your adjustment of status interview, but if you’re not that far along yet, consult our list to get a head start:
Before gathering these immigration documents, not that any documents in a language other than English are required to be accompanied by a certified document translation. Rev can provide a certified document translation with a quick turn around time, but that doesn’t meant you should wait until the last minute!
Alien Registration Card
Photo Identification – This is similar to a passport photo, so be sure to follow the explicit instructions on your documents as to how you should pose and what angles are needed.
Other Travel-Related Documents Issued by USCIS
Arrest Records – If you have ever been arrested, USCIS will want to see the records as well as proof of disposition of the case (i.e. jail time served, dismissal, etc.)
Proof of Selective Service Registration – This only applies to males between the ages of 18 and 31. In the U.S., males between the ages of 18-26 are required to register for “selective service,” which is related to the military draft. Whether an immigrant needs to register or not depends on his age and immigration status. If the immigrant is male but over 31, this he does not need these immigration documents.
Proof that the Sponsoring Spouse has been a U.S. Citizen for More than Three Years – This can include documents like the spouse’s birth certificate, naturalization certificate, or certificate of citizenship
Marriage Certificate – Make sure this is the true, certified marriage certificate and not a copy. And if it’s in a language other than English, be sure you bring the original and a certified document translation.
Proof of Termination of All Prior Marriages – This is generally a divorce decree from a court, but can also be an annulment certificate.
Copies of Recent Year Tax Returns
Evidence of a Bona Fide Marriage – This is where most of the support documents come in. They include:
– Lease agreements or joint home ownership documents
– Joint bank account documents
– Joint credit accounts
– Joint tax returns
– Joint investments
– Family health insurance
– Family auto insurance
Children’s Birth Certificates – As one immigration lawyer said to me, “Little baby, big proof.” Proving that you have children with your spouse is a surefire way to assure the USCIS that the marriage is bona fide. So don’t forget those birth certificates!
Remembering, depending on your case, you may need more or fewer documents. And for any documents in a language other than English, you will need the originals as well as certified document translations. Consult your lawyer or your documentation from the USCIS to be sure you’ve collected all the necessary immigration documents! Good luck!