This article is written to provide tips and tricks for your USCIS adjustment of status interview.
Please remember that the interview is an official government proceeding. You must show your respect for the process and to the adjudicating officer. Respect is shown by your: (1) appearance; (2) organization of documents; and (3) attitude.
First impressions are everything, and you only get one chance to make one. Dress respectfully in business casual attire. Avoid wearing flip flops, and do not over dress. Note that you will be entering a federal building / office and required to go through metal detectors. Please remember to avoid bringing prohibited items, such as weapons, marijuana, dangerous metal objects, etc. You can bring your cell phones. When you pass through the metal detectors, proceed to the designated room and check in at the front desk. When you check in, they may take your biometrics again and then you will wait for your name to be called by the interviewing officer.
Organization of Documents
When your name is called, approach the officer and introduce yourselves. The officer will then lead you in the back office area and then either take you straight to the copy machine or to their office for the interview. If the officer takes you to the copy machine, they will then request that you immediately whip out documents for them to examine and copy before they take you to their office for the interview. Once inside their office, you will then be asked for your ID’s and then placed under oath. This means that if you make any false statements during the interview, you may be accused of committing perjury and immigration fraud.
Keep in mind that you are one of many applicants whom the officer must interview that day. They have no time to wait for you to dig through a grocery bag of messily gathered documents. The more you make the officer wait to provide them a document, the more likely you are irritating or frustrating them. This will not bode well for you where the officer has wide discretion to deny your application and send you into removal proceedings.
Once you are placed under oath, the officer will then be examining your behavior and body language to determine whether you are honest or lying. Common body language signs of dishonesty include:
- Avoiding eye contact, looking away when spoken to, or looking down in shame
- Acting overly tense, jittery, speaking too fast and too much.
- Distracting the officer with feigned laughter
- Speaking over the officer. Not letting the officer finish speaking before you speak is a fast way to irritate the officer.
- Speaking over your sponsor. If your sponsor is siting next to you and is struggling to answer a question because they are nervous, that is OK! So long as they say they are nervous and can’t remember, that is an honest answer. Guessing the answer incorrectly is a sign of fraud. Do not guess! If you can’t remember because you are nervous, say so. That is a positive sign of being candid.
- Trying to break the ice. Do not do this. The officer will use this tactic to get you to let your guard down so that you accidentally make an incriminating statement which leads to your arrest and deportation. We will discuss this more during our mock interview
Finally, our office will be emailing you a copy of your immigration forms. Please remember to review Form I-485 and pay particular attention to all of the nit picky questions beginning at page 10. During our mock interview, I will tell you how to answer each and every single one of the questions. Yes, they sound stupid and perhaps offensive. And, no, you do not want to make any mistakes that could lead to an immediate denial of your case.
Please note that the information provided on this website is for general information purposes only and is not to be construed nor relied upon as legal advice nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship. For a free consultation with Attorney Thomas M. Lee, please contact us.
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