If you live in Clearwater, or anywhere else within the U.S., and want to apply for a green card based on your marriage to a United States citizen, then an “adjustment of status” is what you are really after. During the process, you can expect to be called in for an interview at the district office of U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Here is a brief guideline on what to bring to that personal interview. In addition, you will also receive a list from USCIS with specific instructions and details. Be sure to go over the list from USCIS thoroughly and make sure to bring anything not mentioned in the list below. It is always better to be over prepared than under prepared.
First and foremost, you and your spouse are required to present photo identification. A passport is the safest bet, but a separate form of ID —such as a state issued one— is acceptable. The U.S. citizen spouse typically provides a driver’s license.
USCIS Work or Travel Permits and Original Documents
You will need all the originals of any documents you used to enter the United States and anything you have received from U.S. consulates and/or USCIS when you apply for a green card. Also, if you have mailed copies of anything, be sure to bring the originals. Your spouse will need to bring proof of his or her U.S. citizenship, such as a birth certificate, U.S. passport, or Certificate of Naturalization.
Updates to Application
If anything important has changed in your life since filing the application, you will need to provide proof. For example, if you have had a child since filing your paperwork, you should bring a certified copy of your child’s birth certificate along with photographs highlighting this happy addition to your family. If a new tax season has come and gone since you filed your application, you will need to provide updated tax returns. In addition, if your U.S. citizen spouse has obtained a new job, you will want to bring a recent letter from the new employer and copies of pay stubs.
Required Documents That Have Not Been Sent Yet
Sometime over the course of your application process, you may be told it is okay that you do not have a specific document just yet, but that you can bring it to the interview. Be sure to include these documents when you apply for a green card or you will not be approved.
Proof Marriage Is Real
Your interview with the USCIS officer is your opportunity to show that your marriage is real. You will need to provide documentation to show the nature of your relationship. The officers want to see records showing that you have joint assets and joint debts with your spouse. Evidence of joint assets include things such as joint bank accounts, deeds in both of your names, joint titles to vehicles, joint retirement accounts, and estate planning documents. Evidence of join debts includes mortgages or leases in both of your names and joint credit card statements. Proof of joint health insurance, property insurance, automobile insurance, or renters insurance is always helpful. Correspondence between you and your spouse, pictures of the two of you together as well as with members of your extended families, and signed affidavits from family and friends stating that they have observed the progress of your relationship can also be submitted. Bring any evidence that demonstrates the legitimacy of your marriage. As we mentioned before, it is better to be over prepared than under prepared.
Apply For a Green Card
Immigration law is always changing, so it is hard for someone who is not a lawyer to keep up with statutes and regulations. When you want to apply for a green card, you should seek the legal representation of Julie Beth Jouben, P.A. in Clearwater. Our firm can help you safely navigate the convoluted waters of immigration law both painlessly and efficiently.