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Teemo

Our AOS interview - feedback requested

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Posted (edited)

Hello - it's been awhile since I posted. Finally had our marriage-based AOS interview this week in NYC. PD of December 2017. (no fiancee visa or anything like that involved). I'm sort of sick to my stomach over the interview and wanted to get some of the more experienced members' takes (cc @geowrian @SusieQQQ @Pitayaand others) on it to let me know if i am (hopefully) worrying about nothing or if I have a potential problem. 

 

The interview started off very weird and rocky. The interviewer asked my wife (the USC) the following questions that she had a lot of trouble with:

- How did I receive my current naturalized Canadian citizenship? (This was 15 years before I met her) My wife said "he lived there during high school" but that wasn't satisfactory to the interviewer and so after more persistent specific questions on this (ie "who petitioned him?") my wife eventually said "I don't know" to them.

- Which firm petitioned for me for an H-1B? (this was 8 years before I met her). My wife has no idea what an H1-B is and was stumped. The interviewer then said "it was Firm XYZ, you didn't know he worked for Firm XYZ?!?". To which my wife said, "I did but didn't know anything about the visa he used or what firm you were referring to."

- When you guys traveled together last year, what visa did your husband use? My wife said "the temporary work visa thingy." Weird question. My wife would have no idea it's called an EAD or advance parole.

- What was the exact day of your husband's last time he re-entered the country? The answer was right, it was just awkward as she fumbled aloud to remember the exact day 8 months ago, and the interviewer acted as if that was the wrong answer, which further threw us off and made my wife nervous. 

- Who wrote and filed this application? My wife answered "he did" to which I corrected her out loud and said "together." I filled it all out but she printed all the papers, read them and signed them, but she doesn't really remember that as it was over 18 months ago. Just weird and awkward and looked bad for her to say I did it as if she wasn't involved. 

- Does your husband have a previous wife and/or kids? This is a normal question, but the interviewer asked it at least 3 times! By the 3rd time, she had made my wife so nervous and unsure of herself that she responded with "Not that I know of" which is not exactly a ringing endorsement of our relationship. 

- How do your parents feel about you marrying someone of a different culture and religion? I guess this is a normal question and the answer was fine. 

 

At this point the interview felt like it was going down in flames. We didn't have a single good and definitive answer by this point. Fortunately the next few were some standard job and family questions which we nailed. This is when the bona fides came out. We have been together 4 years and lived together for the past 3 years so we had a lot of evidence. The interviewer looked at and kept the following: a few photos (we brought ~100) including from our wedding with family and friends and on vacation, our joint lease and two annual renewals, some emails between us and our families dating back years, 4 joint electricity bills, joint health insurance, 3 joint international plane tickets, and two years of joint tax returns.

 

She then asked me the standard security questions and then said she had everything she needed. Did not give any indication one way or the other about how it went. So, does this sound like we did a good enough rescue job? if she really had concerns about our relationship, wouldn't she ask a lot more questions and spend more time working through the bona fides (ie she could have looked at all 100 photos and asked questions on them if she wanted to). Do you think there's any meaningful chance it was an outright denial? Lastly, we have an international vacation scheduled in 10 days (booked months ago), should I feel nervous about leaving the country and using my AP to get back in? Any and all feedback welcome, thank you for reading. 

 

 

Edited by Teemo

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23 minutes ago, Teemo said:

Hello - it's been awhile since I posted. Finally had our marriage-based AOS interview this week in NYC. PD of December 2017. (no fiancee visa or anything like that involved). I'm sort of sick to my stomach over the interview and wanted to get some of the more experienced members' takes (cc @geowrian @SusieQQQ @Pitayaand others) on it to let me know if i am (hopefully) worrying about nothing or if I have a potential problem. 

 

The interview started off very weird and rocky. The interviewer asked my wife (the USC) the following questions that she had a lot of trouble with:

- How did I receive my current naturalized Canadian citizenship? (This was 15 years before I met her) My wife said "he lived there during high school" but that wasn't satisfactory to the interviewer and so after more persistent specific questions on this (ie "who petitioned him?") my wife eventually said "I don't know" to them.

- Which firm petitioned for me for an H-1B? (this was 8 years before I met her). My wife has no idea what an H1-B is and was stumped. The interviewer then said "it was Firm XYZ, you didn't know he worked for Firm XYZ?!?". To which my wife said, "I did but didn't know anything about the visa he used or what firm you were referring to."

- When you guys traveled together last year, what visa did your husband use? My wife said "the temporary work visa thingy." Weird question. My wife would have no idea it's called an EAD or advance parole.

- What was the exact day of your husband's last time he re-entered the country? The answer was right, it was just awkward as she fumbled aloud to remember the exact day 8 months ago, and the interviewer acted as if that was the wrong answer, which further threw us off and made my wife nervous. 

- Who wrote and filed this application? My wife answered "he did" to which I corrected her out loud and said "together." I filled it all out but she printed all the papers, read them and signed them, but she doesn't really remember that as it was over 18 months ago. Just weird and awkward and looked bad for her to say I did it as if she wasn't involved. 

- Does your husband have a previous wife and/or kids? This is a normal question, but the interviewer asked it at least 3 times! By the 3rd time, she had made my wife so nervous and unsure of herself that she responded with "Not that I know of" which is not exactly a ringing endorsement of our relationship. 

- How do your parents feel about you marrying someone of a different culture and religion? I guess this is a normal question and the answer was fine. 

 

At this point the interview felt like it was going down in flames. We didn't have a single good and definitive answer by this point. Fortunately the next few were some standard job and family questions which we nailed. This is when the bona fides came out. We have been together 4 years and lived together for the past 3 years so we had a lot of evidence. The interviewer looked at and kept the following: a few photos (we brought ~100) including from our wedding with family and friends and on vacation, our joint lease and two annual renewals, some emails between us and our families dating back years, 4 joint electricity bills, joint health insurance, 3 joint international plane tickets, and two years of joint tax returns.

 

She then asked me the standard security questions and then said she had everything she needed. Did not give any indication one way or the other about how it went. So, does this sound like we did a good enough rescue job? if she really had concerns about our relationship, wouldn't she ask a lot more questions and spend more time working through the bona fides (ie she could have looked at all 100 photos and asked questions on them if she wanted to). Do you think there's any meaningful chance it was an outright denial? Lastly, we have an international vacation scheduled in 10 days (booked months ago), should I feel nervous about leaving the country and using my AP to get back in? Any and all feedback welcome, thank you for reading. 

 

 

Sounds like she can either approve you guys or ask for more evidence. And I suggest not to travel using your AP, simply because in the event that you get denied and you are out of the country you won’t be able to come in using your AP. So I suggest wait till you actually have your green card in hand.

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It doesn't jump out to me as a reason to be overly concerned. Take a breather...I think you're worrying more than you need to.

 

There is always a risk of not being re-admitted with AP. That said, the risk is generally very, very small, and applies to anybody. So it is safer to not leave the US.

Personally, though, I wouldn't change my plans for a short vacation based on the above.


Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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1 hour ago, Pengunista said:

Sounds like she can either approve you guys or ask for more evidence. And I suggest not to travel using your AP, simply because in the event that you get denied and you are out of the country you won’t be able to come in using your AP. So I suggest wait till you actually have your green card in hand.

Thank you. So it sounds like you think its likely not to be an outright denial, much more likely an approval or ask for more evidence. That's what I am looking for, thank you. 

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1 hour ago, hoangthaihuy said:

If your marriage is real, what are you afraid of. Just because she couldn't answer some questions doesn't mean the marriage is not real.

I'm (a little) afraid we did not prove it to the officer's satisfaction, hence the whole point of the post. The marriage is real. But you have to prove it. The first half of the interview we did not prove it, it was weird and rocky. Then we turned it around. Hopefully enough. 

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20 minutes ago, geowrian said:

It doesn't jump out to me as a reason to be overly concerned. Take a breather...I think you're worrying more than you need to.

 

There is always a risk of not being re-admitted with AP. That said, the risk is generally very, very small, and applies to anybody. So it is safer to not leave the US.

Personally, though, I wouldn't change my plans for a short vacation based on the above.

Thanks @geowrian, I always respect your opinion (we used to get into discussions last year). I appreciate it. I used AP 7x in the year I have had it (4 for short work projects in Canada, 3 for vacations with my wife) so I appreciate there's a small risk but I'm pretty comfortable with it at this point. Obviously, the chance of a application denial when i am out of the country is what is worrying me but it sounds like you think that's pretty low chance. 

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@geowrianWhat if my application was approved while I was away on vacation (or approved shortly before but I didn't get green card in hand). Would I get denied using AP to get back in if the GC was sitting in my mailbox?

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1 hour ago, Teemo said:

@geowrianWhat if my application was approved while I was away on vacation (or approved shortly before but I didn't get green card in hand). Would I get denied using AP to get back in if the GC was sitting in my mailbox?

No they will let you back in

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I think that's the typical interview method. I learned from different posts that the IO will repeat the question to testify the answer is real or not. 

I thin OP is fine. Don't worry too much. Your green card is on the way. Hope you can get it before your trip. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Teemo said:

@geowrianWhat if my application was approved while I was away on vacation (or approved shortly before but I didn't get green card in hand). Would I get denied using AP to get back in if the GC was sitting in my mailbox?

No, you'll be let in (well, under the same process as any LPR). If you are aware of approval already, it might not hurt to just make request that the CBP officer admit you as a permanent resident instead of potentially paroling you into the US.

I did ask this specific question to the IO at my wife's AOS interview.

Edited by geowrian

Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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15 minutes ago, geowrian said:

No, you'll be let in (well, under the same process as any LPR). If you are aware of approval already, it might not hurt to just make request that the CBP officer admit you as a permanent resident instead of potentially paroling you into the US.

I did ask this specific question to the IO at my wife's AOS interview.

Can you clarify? First why do they let you in on AP without your green card after it is approved? 2nd what do you mean by being let in as PR when you don't have your green card? Thanks!

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Teemo said:

Can you clarify? First why do they let you in on AP without your green card after it is approved? 2nd what do you mean by being let in as PR when you don't have your green card? Thanks!

A green card is only evidence of your LPR status. Once AOS is approved, you are an LPR. If somebody made it to the border (i.e. by land since boarding a flight might not be possible w/o a valid documentation) with only documentation of their identity (i.e. a passport and no green card), CBP should be able to see that they are an LPR and admit them as such anyway. It might not be a fun or quick trip, but the green card isn't actually needed for admission.

 

If the officer isn't paying attention, it's possible they could parole you into the US. Being a parolee theoretically could be an issue in the event of removal proceedings (if something were to happen down the road). Lookup parole vs admission for some good readings if you're interested. It's just simpler, IMHO, to know that you were admitted instead of paroled.

Edited by geowrian

Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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4 hours ago, geowrian said:

A green card is only evidence of your LPR status. Once AOS is approved, you are an LPR. If somebody made it to the border (i.e. by land since boarding a flight might not be possible w/o a valid documentation) with only documentation of their identity (i.e. a passport and no green card), CBP should be able to see that they are an LPR and admit them as such anyway. It might not be a fun or quick trip, but the green card isn't actually needed for admission.

 

If the officer isn't paying attention, it's possible they could parole you into the US. Being a parolee theoretically could be an issue in the event of removal proceedings (if something were to happen down the road). Lookup parole vs admission for some good readings if you're interested. It's just simpler, IMHO, to know that you were admitted instead of paroled.

Interesting thanks. But once you enter the country, even as a parolee, once you have green card in hand you are effectively admitted, no? Otherwise everyone who used AP but then got a green card would be in "parolee" status until they left and re-entered on their GC. 

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24 minutes ago, Teemo said:

Interesting thanks. But once you enter the country, even as a parolee, once you have green card in hand you are effectively admitted, no? Otherwise everyone who used AP but then got a green card would be in "parolee" status until they left and re-entered on their GC. 

That's a difficult one to answer for me, sorry. I'm sure a good attorney would have more specifics as to how it plays out if one were to go to removal hearings.

 

But basically, my understanding (and I am 100% open if there is a mistake here...) is that if in-country when the I-485 is approved, your status in the country is updated - you become inspected and admitted as an LPR. Anytime you re-enter the US, you have to be inspected and admitted again. Being paroled defers that decision (although this would only be an issue if they later determined that you were inadmissible).

Some background resources:

https://www.uscis.gov/policy-manual/volume-7-part-b-chapter-2 (Info on inspected and admitted vs inspected and paroled)

https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?&node=se8.1.1245_17 (Upon approval of the I-485, the immigrant is considered inspected and admitted as an LPR)

 

That said, this is a very specific set of circumstances where this would even come into play - 1) AOS approved while abroad, 2) paroled into the US, 3) put into removal proceedings, 4) having been determined to be inadmissible, and 5) all this before your next entry into the US.


Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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