HOW TO ANSWER TOUGH QUESTIONS IN YOUR IMMIGRATION INTERVIEW?
As anyone who has gone through the green card/immigration process for the United States, Citizenship and Immigration Services does not make it easy or quick to obtain your green card. There is a variety of documentation that must be filed with the right people within a particular timeline, tests must be taken and passed, and an interview must be conducted with a USCIS officer to gain immigration status.
When you finally reach the stage at which you will be interviewed for your green card, you will likely have been going through the process for a long time and are more than ready for it to conclude successfully. It is important, then, that you prepare yourself for the interview and be aware of the types of questions you will be asked.
One of the best ways to ensure that you and your family are ready for your citizenship interview is to hire an immigration attorney such as ours at Elliott Immigration Law serving Lawrenceville, GA. Your exceptional immigration lawyer from our law firm will work diligently to ensure all of your paperwork is in order and you feel confident going into your interview after receiving our legal advice.
What Should I Expect in a Green Card Interview?
As with almost everything having to do with immigration into the United States, the green card interview will require you to have necessary paperwork with you and be prepared to answer numerous questions about every aspect of your life and your past.
Not all green card interviews are the same, but they will generally follow the same basic format. To ensure that you feel confident and prepared for your interview, our attorneys at Elliott Immigration Law recommend having a mock interview session set up with your lawyer before the real interview so that you feel more comfortable on the big day.
How Do I Prepare for My Immigration Interview?
There are several things you can do to prepare for the immigration interview and to feel as confident as possible when you enter the building and sit down with USCIS officers. Here are some top tips from our attorneys:
Dress professionally and comfortably. While you do not have to wear a suit and tie, you should wear professional clothing.
Scout the location ahead of time. A day or two before your interview you should drive to the location around the same time that your interview will take place.
Plan your route. Figure out the traffic, parking situation, length of time it takes to walk from your vehicle to the building, and where exactly your building is.
Bring your documents. All documents that you submitted as a part of your immigration application should accompany you to the interview. Bringing the originals, if possible, is best. Be sure they are well-organized, and you know exactly where each important document is within your packet.
Read your application. Even though you answered the questions on the application, it is always best to reread your application and familiarize yourself with the answers since many of the questions you will be asked during the interview are from your application.
Discuss having a preparation session with an immigration attorney. Having a prep session which can include a mock interview carried out by your attorney can help you get out any pre-interview jitters you may be experiencing and make you feel as confident as possible when you go into the interview.
When you can prepare ahead of time for the interview, you will gain a great amount of confidence going into the interview and feel more at ease. Although you will likely not be relaxed or comfortable, preparing for the interview will enable you to calm your nerves a bit and help you to be yourself during the interview.
Types of Questions Asked in the Interview with Immigration Services
When you arrive at your interview (best to be early and certainly not late), the USCIS officer will generally greet you and exchange pleasantries. After that, you will swear an oath, to tell the truth. Be aware that lying under oath is a crime and may make you ineligible to receive a green card.
After the oath, your actual interview will begin. The immigration officer will start with your personal information such as full name, birthday, location, race, address, and phone number. If you are applying for a marriage-based green card, you should expect to answer the same kinds of questions about your spouse’s birthday, name, race, etc. You may also be asked questions about your physical appearance.
Next will be questions based on your family members and family history (names, citizenships, how many children do you have), including your spouse’s family, as well as your relationship history with your spouse. Especially for a marriage-based green card, these questions can get very personal and a green card marriage interview will likely have the same questions for both spouses.
Following that, you will be asked about military service and your immigration status at this present time. Along the same lines, you will be questioned later about any foreign travel, so you must be aware of the scrutiny you will be under for any trips to hostile lands you have taken. When it comes to the next set of questions about your residential history, answer as completely and thoroughly as possible, even though it may be difficult to remember as far back as age 16.
You will then be asked about your education and employment history. Be aware that certain jobs and careers, especially along political lines, may result in more questions. Following that will be income tax questions and receive a request to see your tax returns. Even if it is not listed on your interview notice, bring copies anyway.
Finally, you will answer questions related to good moral character. These generally fall into categories including ethics, affiliation with certain organizations (they are looking for anything related to terrorism or Communism, but even the Boy Scouts counts as an organization), and any legal entanglements or arrests on your record.
They may finish off with other questions that they feel are relevant, especially for marriage-based immigration applications. These could include information about a joint bank account with you and your spouse did your parents attend your wedding and even the type of contraception you use. The officers with Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) are permitted to ask any question they want.
Consult the Immigration Attorney in Lawrenceville, GA
If you are applying for a green card in the United States, you should obtain the legal services of an experienced immigration attorney. At Elliott Immigration Law, we have the knowledge, skills, and experience to help guide you through the immigration process and ensure that you understand what is happening at each step.
We are also happy to discuss the immigration interview with you, help you prepare, and conduct a mock interview. Call us today at (404) 890-0372 to set up a consultation with our Lawrenceville, GA, attorneys!