It is always better to be safe than sorry. That old adage can apply to many situations in your life. It is better to look up where you are headed before you leave the house. It is better to know what you want to cook before you buy grocery supplies. It is better to know what you want to watch before opening Netflix. Most of all, it is better to prepare for your immigration interview than to go in blind.
Interviews with your local United States Citizenship and Immigration Services office do not have to be frightening, but they should be taken seriously. It just takes a little bit of effort to understand what the interview will be like and what you need to bring with you to it. It is always better to be prepared than caught off-guard. Consequently, here are our 5 tips for a successful immigration interview:
Don’t Be Late. The simplest point, and yet maybe the most important! If you are late the Officer can legally deny your case before you even have a chance to prove your qualifications. That means being on time and even early to the appointment. Plan to get there appropriately early for whatever levels of traffic you often find in your city. It is better to have to wait around in your car in the parking lot for a few minutes than to be speeding in at the last second.
Dress the Part. The immigration interview is a part of a formal legal process, and dressing appropriately will illustrate to everyone involved that you take that process very seriously. This does not necessarily mean that you have to wear a tuxedo or gown, but it does mean that you should not wear flip-flops or short shorts. It is always best to dress conservatively.
Don’t Fake It. Being honest is always the best approach in your immigration interview. If you are asked a question you do not know the answer to, do not try to just make something up. It is a better answer to say “I am not sure” than to take a stab at what you think the correct answer is. Don’t try to make the Officer happy with what you think they want to hear, just answer honestly. If you do not understand the question ask the Officer to clarify what is being requested.
Make Copies. Being prepared means bringing the appropriate documents you need with you to your interview. More than that, it means bringing the original documents and copies to give to the Officer! Having everything you need with you shows the Officer you are responsible and proactive in saving them time.
Be Yourself! An immigration interview is for you to show your personality and warmth to the office. It is natural to feel nervous about it, but don’t let that make you shut down! Just be honest and open and they will be glad to see the type of person you are.
An immigration interview is just another step in the immigration process, but properly preparing for it ensures you will have the most successful experience possible. For help with any aspect of your immigration process, contact Valvo & Associates today! With over 88 years of combined expertise and the ability to represent clients federally in all 50 states, we are your go-to legal immigration experts.