Individuals applying for permanent residency status in the United States will have to attend a green card interview.
At this interview, the immigration official will ask you a series of questions about your case.
For example, marriage-based applicants may have to answer questions about their daily life or financial situation.
Meanwhile, individuals applying for fiancé visas may have to field questions about their future wedding plans.
In this article, we’ll cover seven general tips that can help you pass your green card interview.
7 Tips to Help You Pass Your Green Card Interview
Whether your interview is schedule in an embassy overseas or at your local USCIS office doesn’t matter.
The general format of the interview remains the same.
During this interview, the consular officer will ask you a series of questions about the information you submitted in your application.
They will also begin to form their decision on whether to approve or deny your green card.
For this reason, several general tips will work regardless of whether you’re applying for a visa or simply adjusting your status.
Tip #1: Never Lie
The primary purpose of a green card interview is to confirm the information in your green card application.
Put another way, the whole point of the interview is to prevent visa fraud.
For this reason, lying or stretching the truth will only harm your green card application.
Further, knowingly providing false information in your green card interview may result in deportation at a later date should USCIS find out that you lied to gain status.
If you can’t remember the answer to a question, it’s almost always better to say “I don’t know” than to guess or lie.
Tip #2: Remain Calm
The environment of the USCIS office or U.S. consulate may seem somewhat imposing.
However, as long as your attorney helped prepare you for the interview, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
Just answer each question truthfully and to the best of your ability.
Tip #3: Trust Your Lawyer
While this may seem like a basic tip, it’s actually an important and easy way to strengthen your case.
As noted above, the primary purpose of the green card interview is to confirm that all the information in your application packet is correct.
An experienced attorney will create your packet in a way that makes this process much easier.
While your lawyer can never guarantee success, you should always take note of any advice they give you about your case or the interview.
Remember that your immigration attorney has likely filed hundreds if not thousands of similar applications before.
Trust in their experience, and follow any advice they give you about the interview or your application.
Tip #4: Dress Well
It’s important that you present yourself in a manner that reflects the seriousness and importance of the occasion.
Because the green card interview is a highly subjective part of your application process, dressing nicely is a good way to start your interview off on a good foot.
Remember, the interviewer has a great deal of discretion in deciding the outcome of your case.
For this reason, you’ll want to take steps to ensure that your appearance doesn’t bring your judgement or morals into question.
Tip #5: Bring Evidence
Always bring along any required evidence that may come up in the interview.
For example, you’ll want to bring copies of your application packet, as well as all supporting documentation you submitted as part of the process.
Additionally, it may also be helpful to bring along case-specific evidence that can help you supplement the claims in your application.
For example, records showing a shared house or pooled assets may be helpful in proving that your marriage is legitimate.
However, you should still ask your attorney whether or not such evidence will be beneficial to your specific case.
Tip #6: Bring an Interpreter
If you are not comfortable answering questions in English, you should bring an interpreter with you to the interview.
USCIS will not provide you with an interpreter. Further, only a few examining officers are bilingual.
While you can choose to spend money on a professional interpreter, a friend or relative can perform the job as well.
Basically, your interpreter just has to be someone with legal status who can communicate your answers to the officer.
However, note that it’s generally not a good idea to have your spouse or fiancé interpret for you, due to the heightened risk of fraud that doing so would create.
Tip #7: Review Everything
Before you set out on the morning of your interview, make sure to read and re-read all relevant instructions and guidelines to make sure you aren’t forgetting anything.
Remember that your green card interview is an exercise in preparation.
Showing up at the office ready to go from the very beginning is the best possible way you can prepare for your green card interview.
Green card interviews may be formal events, but they aren’t actually that complicated.
Essentially, the interview is just a way for the U.S. government to confirm any notable information you included in your application.
As long as you take time to prepare a strong application with your lawyer, and answer each question truthfully, you should experience little to no difficulty in passing your interview.