|Charlotte NC|| Review on December 19, 2019:|
|Review Topic: Adjustment of Status|
Before the interview, you will have to pass through security. The security officers were a bit grumpy, but that's not really unusual. You're instructed to take off your shoes, empty your pockets, etc. It's just like TSA at the airport - but much quicker and easier. We were both through in all of three minutes. The office itself is very nice, nothing like other government facilities we're all familiar with like social security offices or DMVs. It's well lit, ample amounts of seating, and quite a pleasant space to be in! You then move on to the check in desk. The lady working there was very kind and professional, she simply scanned our interview notice and then instructed my husband to scan his index fingers and take a photo. Also very quick and easy, painless and hassle-free. We were finally sat down and waiting about 20 minutes before our interview time, and called back about 15 minutes after our interview time. We took the elevator to the second floor, and waited for all of 30 seconds in the "lobby" as instructed before our immigration offer came out to greet us.
Moving onto the actual interview: Our IO was very pleasant and professional. By my evaluation, I think she struck the perfect balance between performing her job well in addition to treating us with respect and kindness. Our interview wasn't quite as intense as I was expecting - we were brought into the room together, and the atmosphere was relaxed and not stressful in the least. She asked us to confirm our names, dates of birth, and places of birth first from the I-130, then moved onto the I-485 inadmissibility questions (are you a terrorist, spy, etc.) with my husband first. He had to answer "yes" to a few of those, the ones concerning military service and weapons training specifically, because he is a Korean male and had to serve in his country's army for two years mandatorily. We were asked to elaborate on that, and pointed out that we included his discharge document in our packet. All was good. Then she asked me how we met, which of course we went over the whole story, which was a lot of us talking and her listening. After that, she thumbed through our originally submitted petition, checked some boxes, and asked if we had any further proof of bona fide marriage we wanted to submit that was not in our original petition. We did not.
I will say that it seemed like she really hadn't looked at our petition prior to interviewing us, and didn't look at it much during the interview either. I'm guessing (and I could be wrong), that everything was checked and cleared at the National Benefits Center before being forwarded over to Charlotte. At the end of the interview, she handed us a paper that said "We have received all of your documentation, but have yet to make a decision. You should receive a decision within 30 days." So no approval on the spot, which was kind of concerning considering it seems like many people on VJ are approved on the spot. I'm speculating that since she hadn't looked at our documentation in detail, she probably had to do that first; or, alternatively, she might have had to get a second officer's approval due to some of the "yes" answers on the inadmissibility questions. Either way, once we were finished, she told us something along the lines of: "I cannot give you a final decision yet, but I will say that this looks very approvable."
And we ended up getting approved two days later! So if you are reading this after your interview and are worried about not receiving an on-the-spot approval like we did: don't worry. I think it's procedural and totally normal.