Marriage green card approved! Timeline + tips

Excited to share my timeline for our marriage green card approval! Our case was so severely impacted by COVID and hopefully this post will give some of you out there who are still waiting some hope. It WILL come!!

October 11, 2019 - Submitted application
November 7, 2019 - Received biometrics notice
November 19, 2019 - Biometrics appointment
March 17, 2020 - Received interview notice for April 30, 2020
March 23, 2020 - Received Approval notice for I765 and I131 (work and travel authorization)
April 30, 2020 - Interview canceled due to COVID, rescheduled to May 30, 2020 but cancelled AGAIN
October 10, 2020 - Received combo card FINALLY
January 4, 2021 - Received interview notice for January 25, 2021
January 25, 2021 - Interview at Holtsville, NY USCIS, approved on the spot
January 27, 2021 - Status changed to: card was mailed!

Our interview at Holtsville was super quick - everyone we met (security, check-in, interviewer) was super nice! We heard about some people's experience with being interviewed by an iPad (?!) but ours was done the old fashioned way. The interviewer brought us into the room (had a plexi glass in between) and basically said it looks like our case is great and that she need to just ask us some basic questions - to me she asked how we met, and to my husband she asked if he had ever met my family. After the questions, she asked if we had pictures, documents, etc so we showed her our pictures (we didn't bring a lot, probably around 10 or so). She took a couple photos to keep and also kept a copy of one of our previous leases, and a couple of joint bills.

After those 2 questions she asked the set of standard questions: have you ever been involved in crime/espionage, have you ever been a member of the communist party, etc. After that she told us congratulations we were approved! She also checked that we had the correct address in the system and told me I would get my card soon.

Tips for those going into the interview:

  1. Don't be nervous! They just want to see if your marriage is legit.
  2. Be prepared just in case. Make sure you have everything on the list on your interview notice. They might not ask to see it, but you want to have it with you if they ask.
  3. You don't need a lot of pictures - but just make sure they fit what they are looking for. So, pictures with friends, family, pictures of engagement, and marriage. We took about 10 photos and they kept about 3.
  4. Joint documents are super helpful - so joint leases, joint bills, joint bank account, joint phone plan.
  5. Be on time and look presentable! Seriously I have not worn business casual or put make up on since March 2020 (been working from home this whole time) but you do want to make a good impression! We saw some interviewers wearing suits, so definitely think about what you would wear to a job interview and dress similarly.

This is basically it but if you have questions let me know! Sending good vibes to all of you that are still waiting <3

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