If an individual applying for immigration is required to undergo an immigration interview with the Bureau of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), there are certain things to do and avoid doing throughout the interview. Any missteps during an interview could harm an individual’s chances at approval, so it’s best to learn how to approach an interview beforehand.
What to Do in an Immigration Interview
To perform well in an immigration interview, individuals can do the following:
- Prepare for the interview with all necessary documentation, including original documents, with the ability to answer questions regarding each document.
- Follow the USCIS officer’s instructions, including interviewing alone if the USCIS officer requests separate interviews with each spouse.
- Be an active listener and only respond to questions that the officer asks.
- Be ready to answer any questions pertaining to marriage to a U.S. citizen.
- Dress formally in business or business casual attire, similar to a job interview.
- Bring an interpreter if needed.
- Show up on time, which will make the interviewee appear responsible and help avoid the pain of rescheduling an interview.
- Consider having an attorney present at the interview if there’s any uncertainty about the process.
What Not to Do
Keeping in mind what to do, the following are some things to avoid during the interview:
- Arguing with a spouse or other family member at any point, which can harm the officer’s perception of the interviewee.
- Engaging in overly casual conversation with the officer, including any jokes or sarcasm around sensitive topics such as smuggling, drug dealing, or other criminal behavior.
- Lying at any point to the officer if there’s discomfort around a certain question
- Becoming impatient with the officer and avoiding answering questions.
- Arguing with the officer.
If an individual experiences any discomfort throughout the interview, it’s important to remain polite and avoid displaying any aggressive or elusive behavior that the officer could perceive as either malicious or otherwise troubling. In many cases, having an immigration attorney present can be a good way to avoid potential issues throughout the interview. An attorney may also be able to help keep the interview process smooth throughout if any difficulties arise.
Taking the right steps during an immigration interview can mean the difference between the approval and denial of an immigration application.