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My wife's US permenant residence card interview


regionpolski 33 | 153  
17 May 2007 /  #1
This is a continuation of the thread I started in the Jobs Offered section regarding needing a translator on May 17.

We aced the interview. We didn't even have separate interviews. Our translator, a fellow Chicago White Sox fan originally from Krakow, was fantastic. We had never met prior to today, and I was only vaguely familiar with her from a White Sox message board. I contacted her out of the blue, and she was more than happy to translate for us. Here is a recap of the 30 minute interview.

We had an 8AM appointment, so we met at 7AM near the Immigration center on Congress. We got acquainted, and arrived at 7:45AM. Pola, our translator, had never worked an interview before, and instead of going over questions etc., we just shot the breeze. She put my wife at ease. At 8:15AM, officer Hamilton called us in. He is a very nice black gentleman. He swore Pola in, and then Jola ( my wife ) and myself. I was grateful to have Pola along, as my wife was unsure of herself, and Pola explained everything, so my wife had no unanswered questions. Officer Hamilton gathered our identification, and asked for a copy of the marriage liscence. He asked some general questions to verify identities, and verified my employment. I'm a beer man, so it we had some humor concerning beer drinking. During this time, my wife was pinting out imperfections of my face to Pola, while I was paying attention to Officer Hamilton. After reviewing our license, he asked for documentation of our marriage. We have been together almost four years. We had some pictures, some with dates, some without. Jola pointed out my mom, and info about her. I was filling out the G-385, ( which I had but could not find ), I was otherwise extremely well-organized. I also showed Officer Hamilton my Dish Network bills, which indicate that I pay for Polish TV. I handed over our insurance records, including all of our doctor visits. I also showed him that Jola is listed as the beneficiary on my life insurance policy. Between our chemistry, the documents, etc., it was enough. He gathered up our ID's, except for Jola's work permit ID. He said he was keeping that. At that time I knew her application was approved. In two weeks or so, my wife will recieve her permanant residence card. In three years we have to file one more form. We did not have separate interviews.

My recomendations are simple.
Love the person you are with.
Take pictures
If you can, get and use insurance ( easier said than done )
If you spouse isn't fluent, use a translator. especially if you are like me, and you lack patience at times.
Bring plenty of correspondence, going back as far as possible.
Do not attempt marriage fraud. These officers handle 35-40 cases per week. It's a waste of everyone's time and effort. I would imagine a dedicated officer can spot a fraud a mile away. Of course, I pray I never do this again, and pehaps Officer Hamilton is the exception and not the rule. It was not confrontational.

Another advantage of a translator is that they can lighten the mood.
That's all I have. A huge thank you to Pola, and to everyone on this board for suggestions, or just offering good luck.
Shawn_H  
18 May 2007 /  #2
Excellent RP, Very happy for you!
OP regionpolski 33 | 153  
18 May 2007 /  #3
Thank you. It couldn't have gone any better.
shewolf 5 | 1,077  
18 May 2007 /  #4
Thank you for telling us how the interview went. I was on the edge of my chair as I read it. Is the permanent residence card the same thing as the Visa or green card?

What will happen after the three years? Will she get American citizenship?
OP regionpolski 33 | 153  
20 May 2007 /  #5
The permanent residence card is the new Green Card. In three years, she can apply for citizenship, although her English improve signifigantly first.
shewolf 5 | 1,077  
20 May 2007 /  #6
Did she have a sponsor that enabled her to stay in the US?
Eurola 4 | 1,906  
20 May 2007 /  #7
regionpolski as a husband is the sponsor :)

rp, thanks for the update. I heard some stories about marriages for a green card only and the immigration officers really drill down with questions - both spouses separately. Well, maybe it happens only when the officer suspects the marriage to be a "business" marriage.

Since your case is the real thing and well supported the interview was a breeze.
shewolf 5 | 1,077  
20 May 2007 /  #8
regionpolski as a husband is the sponsor :)

Does the spouse automatically become the sponsor after they get married? I've been told the spouse has to have a good paying job or else they don't qualify. Is that true? What sort of proof is needed to show that someone is qualified to be a sponsor?
OP regionpolski 33 | 153  
20 May 2007 /  #9
I really would have enjoyed speaking with the official that conducted our interview. He was very engaging. I asked him how many cases he handled daily, he told me seven. He showed me the list, although I couldn't read any of the names, as if it would matter. I was tempted to ask him questions concerning fraud, but I certainly didn't want to subject ourselves to interrogations. I'm sure we had a few things going for us, that made the process faitly smooth. I'm 39 years old; this is my first marriage. I have no children. I've worked for the same company for 16 years. I earn decent money. I have a college degree. I've lived in the same house for several years. I'm essentially stable. I wasn't so sure about the our supporting eveidence, and went in believing I needed a lot more. We hold no property together. Her name isn't on any bills. She wasn't insured to drive, so I carried full coverage on my car. We had 20 pictures or so, over four years of life together. I thought we needed twice that.

I can't emphasize enough how great our translator Pola was. She was fantastic. If you are going to interview, bring an interpreter, unless your spouse is fluent in English. My wife was so relaxed, because she knew she didn't have to concentrate on every word, and then try to reply properly. My wife was able to explain, along with Pola, details about every photograph. I'm repeating myself, at this stage, but I'll be more than happy to tell anyone what I've learned from the experience.

Does the spouse automatically become the sponsor after they get married? I've been told the spouse has to have a good paying job or else they don't qualify. Is that true? What sort of proof is needed to show that someone is qualified to be a sponsor?

I submitted my tax records for the past three years, which was required in the application. I earn over $40,000 a year. You are required to bring in your last two months of paystubs, although I was not asked to show them.
juniormisss  
27 May 2007 /  #10
How long did you have to wait to get your green card interview? I was told 6-8 weeks. Is that accurate? We just filed our documents, so we're in the waiting period right now.

Thanks.
OP regionpolski 33 | 153  
27 May 2007 /  #11
Our paperwok was mailed out on February 16. It was recieved on February 22. Our interview was May 17. It was less than 90 days. I think 6-8 weeks is very optimistic, and probably unrealistic. My neighbor handled our paperwork, and she files several cases a year. She said the 90 days is as quick as she's seen it. Of course your situation may be diffeent from ours.

Just an FYI, my wife received her card in the mail today. It took 12 days from the interview.
Eurola 4 | 1,906  
29 May 2007 /  #12
Wonderful. And, a very impressive timing.
shewolf 5 | 1,077  
29 May 2007 /  #13
How long do you have to wait after you're married before you file the papers? Can you do it right away?
krysia 23 | 3,057  
29 May 2007 /  #14
you can do it the same minute you are married.
OP regionpolski 33 | 153  
29 May 2007 /  #15
How long do you have to wait after you're married before you file the papers? Can you do it right away?

Krysia is absolutely correct. We filed our papers a bit more than a month after we married. The only reason it took so long was that my wife needed to get vaccinated.

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