Tips for the Immigration Interview

  • Aug 29 2017

Many immigration procedures require that the applicant undergo an interview with someone from the Bureau of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The purpose of this meeting is to determine the truthfulness of your application and uncover anything about you or your background that would prevent you from obtaining the particular immigration status that you have requested.

The content and tenor of each interview will vary a great deal depending on the personality of the interviewer. Nonetheless, being prepared for this meeting will help the entire process run more smoothly. You can use the following tips and information to get the preparation process started.

Review Your Application One Last Time

Everything the interviewer knows about you comes from the application and any other outside research they may have done about you (which likely isn’t much). As such, the focus of the interview will be on the information that you have provided in your application. You should know the information contained in the application forward and backward. You should also be sure to tell the interviewer if any information in the application has changed since you submitted it.
Bring copies of any forms you might need with you. You should also bring originals of certain relevant documents as well. You can use these materials as a reference, but you should be able to discuss the information they contain without them as well.

Answer Questions Carefully and Thoughtfully

Be sure to listen carefully to any question, and answer only the question asked of you. Avoid volunteering additional information as you may come off as rambling. You should also be sure to:
• Request an interpreter if you need one
• Ask the interviewer to rephrase the question if you are not sure what he or she asking
• Follow directions provided by the interviewer
• Let the interviewer know if you are not sure of the answer to a question (do not make up a response if you really do not know)
• Never lie to the interviewer

Avoid Inappropriate Behavior

You should not joke around with the interviewer as this may seem unprofessional or inappropriate. You can take cues from the interviewer if the conversation becomes more lighthearted, however. In particular, avoid comments that are meant to be funny about drug dealing, diseases, or smuggling people into the country.
You should not argue with your family members or spouse during the interview as well. Talk to family members about how you will handle a disagreement if one arises during the interview. You should also never argue with the USCIS officer, either.

Be Ready for Personal Questions in Marriage-Based Interviews

If your immigrant status is related to marriage, you should be prepared to answer personal questions about your relationship. These might include details about how you and your spouse met or your first date. It might also include more mundane details such as what you had for dinner last night or information related to how your household bills are handled. There is no set list of questions, so these vary quite a bit depending on the USCIS officer.

Talk to an Attorney

You can bring an immigration lawyer with you to your interview, and you may want to seriously consider exercising that option. Contact our team for more information on how we can help.

Posted in: Immigration Law