Thursday, February 2, 2012

Green Card Interview

5 Months!

It's been 5 months since David and I made our journey to the United States. 5 months of new experiences, good times and changes.

About 30 days after we were married David and I filed the applications for the I-485 (application for permanent residence (green card)) and the I-765 (application for work authorization). The I-765 is filed because the green card usually takes awhile so if you file for the I-765 you can legally work in the meantime.

A month after filing we received an appointment notice for the biometrics interview. So we went to the Department of Homeland Security office in Seattle and David had his picture and finger prints taken and then we were sent home. Not really knowing what was going to happen next. I assumed that the EAD (employment authorization document) would arrive shortly and David could start looking for work...

We then received our notice ( a month after the biometrics interview) for David's permanent residence (green card) interview that would be on February 1, 2012. At this point we still hadn't received the EAD card. Then a week before the interview David received his EAD card!!! Yay! I was excited that he was officially allowed to work but at the same time a little bitter. The application for this work authorization card cost about $100. And it came a week before the interview for permanent residence. I was thinking "what a waste of $100". I was thinking the EAD card was useless because we'd go to the interview, in a week, and the green card would be approved then he'd be a permanent resident and allowed to work and wouldn't need the EAD card.

Well we went to the interview yesterday, February 1st 2012. We took a translator with us because it would have been a conflict of interest if I, the wife, translated for David. The interview was SOO weird.

I had researched about these interviews and we were totally ready for tons of personal questions about each others families and about our marriage. My cousin and her husband also just did the green card interview and they told us to be ready to answer biographical questions about each other and other personal questions. Well the interviewer asked David how we met. He answered in English. She asked me where I worked. She asked us how the wedding was. We then showed her pictures. She asked ME to identify my family members. She asked how many people attended. She asked if we had a ceremony in Paraguay, we showed pictures of our going away party with his family and she asked DAVID to identify his family members. She then asked for proof of shared finances and that we live in the same place and that I've changed my name. I gave her all of our bank statements, lease agreement, health insurance etc. Then she asked the generic questions like if David's been involved in terrorist actives, if he's been involved in prostitution etc.

Then it was over. She asked NO personal questions. She said she didn't think they'd be needing any more documents from us. And that we'd be getting a letter in the mail with the answer. I asked how long and she said "as soon as possible".

Why didn't she ask any personal questions? I guess we should be happy that it went so quickly and was super easy. But its nerve racking that your future is in someone elses hands. What if they are having a bad day and say "no"? Was it so obvious that we are happily married that she didn't need to ask any questions? I had my dad call my aunt to see if my cousin and her husband got an answer the same day as their interview. They didn't. Their interviewer told them it could be 2 weeks to 3 months to get the letter in the mail!!!

So now I don't think the EAD card was a waste of money. Because if it takes 3 months to get the green card David wouldn't be able to start looking for work until then. He's English is improving rapidly and he is anxious to get out of the house. We've started working on his resume and hopefully within the next few days he can start applying for jobs!

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