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  • Writer's pictureMary Asomaning

5 Tips for Your Immigration Interview

As we hit the halfway mark of 2021, we would like to share a few tips to get you through the immigration process. This article briefly describes how you or your relative can successfully prepare for an immigration interview.

Arrive Early -make transportation arrangements ahead of time and arrive early. In this age of Uber and Lyft, mobility and transportation are more convenient and accessible. The last thing you want is to explain to the immigration officer why you were late. More importantly, you do not want to miss your interview time because of limited interview capacity due to social distancing and covid backlogs. Therefore, if you are too late, your interview might have to rescheduled several weeks or months in the future.

Be Polite – The immigration officer is a human being just like you, and a little kindness could go a long way. However, also keep in mind that the officer is not your friend and their job is to make an objective determination on your immigration case. Although the immigration process can be adversarial you do not need to conduct yourself in a hostile manner. Kindness could be the final key to tip the scale in your favor.

Be Clear - If you don’t hear or understand the officer, ask them to repeat their statement or question. Please do not answer a question unless you completely hear and understand what they are asking. Responding too hastily or inconsistently could cost you in the end. If you provide a wrong or confusing answer it will impact your credibility or lead to unnecessary additional questions.

Be Concise – Please answer the question without additional details. This is harder than it seems when nervousness takes over and you begin to ramble. However, now is not the time to provide extra-long explanations or unnecessary facts. Keep your answers simple, short, and to the point. If the officer wants more information, they will ask you. But if you offer additional information, it could take you down a path that you do not want to go and prolong the interview.

Be Truthful – The most important thing to keep in mind is to be truthful. You do not want to make up answers to questions that you do not know for the sake of saying something. Remember you are providing a sworn statement during the interview (which is often recorded), be honest if you forget or do not know the answer to the question. This will save you in the end!

Bonus Tip - It is good practice to bring the original of any previously provided documents or Identification, birth certificates, passports, naturalization, marriage, and divorce certificates. Also, if you are attending a marriage-based interview you should bring additional documents to support your marital status such as joint bills, bank statements, pictures, support letters from family and friends.

Please contact us if you or someone you know needs help preparing for an interview or defending against a poor interview performance and is facing a potential denial. We would love to assist you with your case!

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