For most couples going through the immigration process, the interview is probably something you’re very nervous about and have been thinking about since the beginning. I want to clarify that this is primarily applicable to applications or individuals who are applying for adjustment of status which is a process here in the United States.
A lot of the information is also helpful if you’re going through a US embassy or consulate interview but I did want to clarify that this is specifically related to USCIS interviews that happen here in the United States for adjustment of status. Specifically, couples who are going through the adjustment of status process.
What are some of the main tips that you should know for your interview?
Tip number one is first and foremost, you’ll want to be as prepared as possible.
Immigration will send you an interview notice with a list of documents that you need to bring. Frequently, there’s other documents in addition to that you’ll need to bring but make sure you have everything on that list. Specifically, your passport, your recent tax returns, your birth certificate, your certified marriage license among others.
Also, updated relationship evidence. Being prepared and bringing all of your documents to your interview is really important because if you don’t bring something on the list, the immigration officer can either reschedule your interview or you can be sent a request for more evidence. It can definitely cause delays in your case.
If you already have an immigration attorney, your attorney can assist you with making sure you have everything you need for your interview. Alternatively, if you don’t have an attorney and you’re looking for assistance, our firm would be happy to help you to review your application and make sure you have everything in order to take to the interview.
A good rule of thumb is to follow the instructions on your interview notice to bring everything and then some additional relationship evidence.
Tip number two: if you don’t know an answer to a question, don’t guess.
When you’re on the hot seat and you’re being asked questions, you might get nervous and you can completely draw a blank. It’s always better to not guess. I like to give clients the example that if they ask your address two years ago and you can’t remember the street number but you remember the street name for example, Orange Boulevard, but you can’t remember the number of the street, you can say “It was two years ago. I know it was Orange Boulevard but I can’t remember the exact number of the street.”
You should definitely be prepared ahead of time and make sure you know that information so you don’t get thrown off. But if you don’t know, don’t guess. That’s always huge because if you guess or make up something that could cause issues with your immigration application. The officer might think that you’re trying to misrepresent something or that you’re trying to lie.
Tip number three: answer only yes or no when asked.
Part of your interview, there’s going to be a long list of yes or no questions. It’s always best that if an officer asks you a question, if you can answer with yes or no then be respectful and answer just yes or no. You might feel compelled to go into even more details but if the officer is just asking you a yes or no question, it’s best to just answer yes or no.
It’ll keep things more clear not only for you but for the officer and make the process go smoother if you answer the question that you’re asked without going into a whole lot more detail.
Tip number four: treat this interview as something very important.
All of you are going to treat this interview as something important but know that this is a very formal setting. It’s very important to be respectful and courteous and listen to the officer and treat it as a job interview. Treat it as something important because it is.
I have faith that all of you will do that but I know that when couples are put on the hot seat and you’re being asked a lot of personal questions, sometimes it can get uncomfortable and it might feel a little frustrating. But know that it’s part of the process you’re applying for this immigration benefit and it’s the job of the officers to make sure you have a real relationship.
Make sure you’re answering their questions in a kind and courteous and respectful manner.
Tip number five: if you don’t understand a question that the officer is asking you, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification.
A lot of times the forms and the words that the immigration officers use, they use a lot of what’s called legal jargon. If you don’t happen to understand one of the words or what the question is or maybe if the officer mumbles and you didn’t hear the question, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. “I’m not sure if I heard what you said officer or what exactly does that mean, officer? I’m not clear on that.”
It’s very important to make sure you understand the question before you ask because you don’t want to cause more issues by answering a question and not really hearing or not understanding it because it’ll prevent you from being able to answer accurately and honestly.
Tip number six: be prepared before your interview with questions about your relationship.
At the end of the day, we know you know each other but it’s good to make sure you’re on the same page about where you both agree was your first date. You might have had a few first dates and one of you remembers it being different than another date or they might have kind of blended together. It’s good to be on the same page about significant dates. Your last vacation together and things like that.
We do have videos on our YouTube channel of common interview questions. The best thing to do would be check that out to help you prepare for your interview.
Those are some of the main USCIS marriage interview tips that you should follow on the day of your interview. If you are just starting out on your immigration journey or even if you’ve already begun your immigration journey and you’re needing assistance, our team of attorneys would love to help you. Our link to book an appointment is below.
We hope to see you in a consultation.