I went for my "Adjustment of Status Initial Interview", otherwise known as the Green Card interview, today. This is indeed the time, like the movie, when one takes along photos of oneself with one's spouse in all sorts of places over the years, and one gets told if one's marriage is real or not.
And then, if you and your loved one can provide suitable proof that you're both gainfully employed and appropriately immunized, you can move on to the next hurdle: weeding out the Nazis, the polygamists, the Communists, the prostitutes, the drug traffickers, those unpunished undertakers of moral turpitude, and anybody intending to engage in "any activity a purpose of which is opposition to, or the control or overthrow of, the Government of the United States, by force, violence, or other unlawful means". Oh yes, you have to swear under oath that you're not an evildoer; they take this stuff pretty seriously.
We went through questions about how we met, when we got married, why we chose Healdsburg for our nuptials, and what out plans are as a couple. We produced birth certificates, marriage certificates, degree certificates and junior school gymnastics certificates. Passports and pictures; tax returns and tenancy agreements; forms and pro-formas. I-130, I-485, I-693, I-797, I-94.
And don't forget Supplemental form to I-693.
After all of this, believe it or not, our interviewer says that he wants to approve the Green Card application but can't because his computer system is down. Instead, he's going to formally mark our case as "pending further review" and approve it later on. Accordingly, he presents a piece of paper with a multiple choice form where "Further Review" is checked, along with the box "Your case has been continued for the reason(s) checked below". Failed at the final hurdle! Aaargh!
Luckily, the attorney (thanks Jennifer) points out that in such limbo I can't travel, and perhaps he can help a bit more, so the guy goes away to see what he can do. Half an hour later, he comes back with another piece of paper, similarly officially marked "I-485 Adjustment of Status Interview Results"---and again with two boxes checked. This time, though, they're labeled "Your case has been continued for the reason(s) checked below" and "Congratulations, your adjustment of status has been approved".
OK, so not quite the emphatic and conclusive result I was hoping for... but I do at least somewhat expect the Green Card to show up in the mail in the next few weeks. Hurrah!
In other news, I took this in the Mission a while back: