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What should you do when you interview with a USCIS official?

What many people may not realize is that in many cases where a person is applying for some type of immigration action or has to deal with some form of immigration action, an interview with an official from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will usually be required. This interview is obviously very important, and it is crucial for the individual in question to be prepared going into that interview.

Of course, there are dynamics at play in an interview scenario that make complete preparation almost impossible. The official's demeanor and personality factor in to the interview, and the issue on the table almost affects how the interview will go. But, in general, preparedness is crucial in these immigration interview. So what should you do, and what should you avoid, when you're being interviewed?

You should:

  • Bring an interpreter if you need to.
  • Have copies of your paperwork and follow the directions that the USCIS officer gives you.
  • Show up on time and dress for the occasion. This is a big interview, so treat it like the moment that it is.
  • Bring a lawyer if you would like. This isn't required, but it's also perfectly acceptable.

You shouldn't:

  • Argue or joke with the USCIS officer. This is a serious occasion, and that USCIS official is simply looking for answers to his or her questions.
  • Argue or joke with family members that may be present at the interview. Talk about this before hand with your family and make sure all of you are on the same page.
  • Stretch the truth or lie. This will only come back to bite you later.

Source: FindLaw, "Immigration Interview Do's and Don'ts," Accessed Sept. 25, 2014

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  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • State Bar of California | California Board of Legal Specialization
  • Avvo
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Irvine Chamber