In many types of immigration cases, one step along the way involves being interviewed by an immigration officer at your local United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office. Many immigrants find the idea of the interview process very intimidating. They have heard that if you are not prepared or if you’re on anything less than your best behavior, the consequences for your immigration status can be devastating. While this may be true, as long as you show up prepared and follow your attorney’s advice, your interview shouldn’t be anything to fear. Read on to discover the Villegas Law Office team’s tips for ensuring that your immigration interview goes as smoothly as possible.
- Timeliness is key.
Be sure to arrive on time for your interview. If you are late, they will not wait for you and you risk automatically failing the interview. We recommend planning to arrive thirty to forty minutes early. This way you won’t have to stress about the extra time it takes to go through security to enter the facility, or any traffic you may encounter along the way.
- Do not begin the interview without your attorney.
It is absolutely essential that your attorney be present at your interview. Your attorney is responsible for protecting your interests. Without him or her, you become vulnerable. We have heard of instances where people who arrive at their appointments before their attorneys arrive have been pressured to begin the interview without counsel present. If this happens to you, you should respectfully insist that your attorney be allowed the time to arrive before you begin early.
- Know what kind of questions to expect and how to answer them.
Your attorney can help you prep, and give you an idea of the types of questions you may be asked so that nothing unexpected will catch you off guard.
- Bring any and all documentation related to your case.
The nature of the documentation you will need to bring with you will depend on the nature of your case. For example, if the purpose of your interview is to prove the veracity of your marriage, you should bring things like your marriage certificate, proof of your shared residence, and family photos. Bring as much evidence as possible — it’s certainly better to have too much than not enough.
- Bring an interpreter if you are not fluent in English.
If you are not comfortable answering questions in English, you will need to bring an interpreter with you to the interview. Your interpreter needs to be a citizen or lawful permanent resident. It should not be a relative.
Who can help me prepare for my interview?
If you are facing an immigration issue, your attorney will be your greatest resource for help and guidance. Looking for an immigration attorney? Villegas Law Office can help with cases nationwide. Give us a call at (956) 412-0707 to learn more about partnering with us.