Foreigners wishing to permanently settle in the US should first get an immigration visa. Once you apply for the visa to become a US citizen, many, but not all, immigration procedures require you to pass through an interview with an official representative from the Bureau of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The interviewer may approve or reject your application based on valid reasons, and therefore these reasons have to be taken seriously. An interview’s tenor largely depends on the USCIS official’s personality; however, you must remember that the official does have nothing against you personally. In fact, it is simply their job to determine if your present circumstances or previous background prevents you from getting the immigration status you want.
Being well-prepared and not arousing doubts or suspicion can make the USCIS interview as smooth and pleasant as possible. Though there is no specific rule to be fully prepared, you should consider the following do’s and don’ts of a seamless interview process:
- Be on time in appropriate attire. Failing to show up for your scheduled appointment, you may be required to undergo a lengthy process to have another interview.
- Bring all your original documents and forms as well as their copies.
- Accompany an interpreter with you if you do not understand English.
- Maintain eye contact with the USCIS officer
- Listen carefully and only answer the questions that the interviewer asks you.
- Be prepared to answer personal questions, especially when you are you are married to a US resident.
- Follow the officer’s directions. It is perfectly appropriate if the officer wants to take your and your wife’s interview separately.
- Hire a lawyer to accompany you if the thought of giving an interview alone feels overwhelming.
- Don’t joke or be sarcastic with the USCIS officer.
- Don’t argue with your spouse, partner, children or family members in the middle of an interview. Be prepared beforehand what you will do in case of a disagreement during an interview
- Don’t lie to the interviewer (USCIS officers are expert in understanding body language and determining whether the answers are truthful). If you feel difficulty in explaining certain things, hire an attorney who should be able to handle difficult situations peacefully during an interview.
- Don’t argue with the officer. Instead ask for an explanation respectfully and attempt to solve the situation by presenting the forms and documents you have brought with you when the officer says, “Some part of your application is incomplete.”
- Never be disrespectful or abusive, be it verbally or physically.
It is a wise idea to consult an immigration attorney in your area to know more about the immigration process