Immigration Interviews: Tips for Success

PREPARATION STARTS AT HOME:

BRING ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS AND DUPLICATE COPIES
Make sure to bring your originals and certified copies of the original documents to your interview.  Also make sure to bring photocopies of all these documents.

PREPARE AHEAD OF TIME
Review your applications ahead of time so that you will be prepare for the types of questions that will be asked.  Keep in mind that you will be answering personal questions from an interviewing officer you have not previously met and the interview may be recorded by USCIS. Contact your attorney if you have questions.

GETTING TO THE INTERVIEW:

ARRIVE ON TIME
You can find the scheduled time and location of your interview on your appointment notice. You will need to arrive at the interview location at least 15 minutes ahead of your scheduled interview time. If your interview location is in a large city, allow time extra time for traffic, parking, and waiting in line for the security screening.

LEAVE ELECTRONIC DEVICES IN THE CAR OR AT HOME
Do not carry cell phones or any other devices with camera functions into your interview.
These items are not allowed and you will be asked to return them to your car.

BRING AN INTERPRETER
If you are not fluent in English you are required to bring your own interpreter.  You are not allowed to bring a relative as your interpreter.

DRESS APPROPRIATELY
Your interview is very important and takes place in a formal setting.  The interviewing officer will take note of your appearance and demeanor.  Business casual is recommended.  Avoid hats, tank tops, short, and flip-flops.

WAIT FOR YOUR ATTORNEY
Do not go into your interview early or sign any papers without your immigration attorney present. If the officer calls you early, tell him that you wish to wait for your attorney.

DURING THE INTERVIEW:

LISTEN TO QUESTIONS AND ANSWER APPROPRIATELY
Make sure to listen to the complete question before answering.  Make sure your answer addresses the question asked and is concise.  Once you’ve answered the question, stop talking! The interviewer will ask a follow up question if she needs more information.

RELAX

Last but not least, it is normal to be nervous before your interview.  Try to take a deep breath and focus on the task at hand.  If you did not understand the question, you can ask for it to be repeated. You can request a break at any time to speak with your attorney and to gather your thoughts.

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