U.S. Law Center

Are you ready for your immigration interview?

You may be well aware that the immigration process in the United States is strict and complex. No matter which program you qualify for, you can usually expect multiple steps and a long waiting process. If you make a mistake anywhere along the way, you risk going to the end of the line and starting the process over from the beginning.

The best way to avoid this setback is to learn as much as you can about the immigration process you are pursuing and make every possible preparation for success. One step in the immigration process where this advice can help is your interview.

Putting your best foot forward

Many methods of immigration require you to meet with an agent from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. This interview is one of the ways in which the government prevents entry into the country under fraudulent methods. If you have received a letter from USCIS telling you they have granted you an appointment for an interview at a California immigration office, there are some important things to keep in mind:

  • The interview will likely be in English, so if you need an interpreter, you will have to provide your own.
  • In the days and weeks before the interview, take the time to review your application since the agent will likely ask questions related to the information on that document.
  • Make copies of all relevant documents, including your birth certificate, passport, application and current ID cards, and bring the copies and originals with you to the interview.
  • Do not make any other plans for the day so you can devote your time and attention to doing well in your interview.
  • Dress in clean, neat clothes that demonstrate the seriousness of the occasion, as if you were going to a job interview.
  • Security rules prohibit weapons and other dangerous items, such as lighters or scissors, and you should turn your phone off when you enter the building.
  • Make sure you allow enough time to find a good parking place, pass through security and arrive on time for your interview since being late may result in the loss of your appointment.

You also have the option of seeking legal counsel as you prepare for your interview. In fact, it is wise to reach out for skilled and experienced advice and assistance so you do not make common mistakes that could jeopardize your chances of reaching your goals.

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