Hi there to those people who are applying for a green card based on marriage to a US citizen
I decided to write this post to explain how I received my green card in only 2 and a half months.
It literally went like clock work.
November 20 2009- Submitted I-485 (including I-765 Work Authorization) and I-130 together
November 30 2009- Received HS letter confirming they received my application
November 30 2009- Received Homeland Security (HS) letter about appointment date for biometrics
December 18 2009- Biometrics completed
December 23 2009- Submitted I-131 Application for Travel Document
December 27 2009- Received HS letter confirming they received my I-131 application
January 10 2010- Received HS letter about appointment date for Green Card interview: February 9
January 21 2010- I-131 approved
January 27 2010- I-765 work authorization approved
February 9 2010- Green Card Interview approved. Green Card Received!!
The whole process took 82 days in total . My application was dealt mainly through the Los Angeles office.
As for the interview, my wife and I studied up on all the questions making sure we knew what potentially could have been asked. Reading some of the forums, we read that some officers can ask very personal questions to our amazement, so trust me, we wanted to know everything what we could expect. Our documents were meticulously organized right down to color tabs and everything. We have only been married a short time, so most of our evidence were photos, letters and email correspondence, references from family and friends, cards, receipts from gifts, joint accounts and a lease agreement. We found the officer was keen to see more accounts/utility bills etc in joint names but as we don't have any of these yet (we only had a bank account and a lease agreement), our relationship evidence was suffice. Also, I shouldn't have to say this, but we are a legitimate married couple and that was no doubt obvious to the case officer involved.
He asked us a couple of questions confirming who we said we were on paper, asked us how we met and when we got married and was happy with that. 10 minutes later he shook our hands and congratulated us with the approval of my green card. Literally that simple.
As I said, the process took only 2.5 months and since then, I have applied and received my work permit, obtained my driver's license and recently gained full time employment. My life in the US has officially begun and I am able to direct my energies to my personal goals and my family.
I would love to help out others who are just about to enter the process of applying. Everything from what documents to submit as evidence of relationship, how to fill in the forms, which forms to fill in, best method of payments, interview prep, how to submit your application , literally everything I know as someone who was thoroughly prepared, been through the process and was successfully approved his Green Card.
Good luck on your application and feel free to drop me a line if you require any help.