Do's and Don'ts: BCIS
Many, but not all, immigration procedures
require an interview with an INS officer. Although most interviews
with the INS are anxiety-provoking, being prepared and not arousing
suspicion will make the experience less unpleasant. The tenor of each
interview will depend on the personality of the INS official with whom
you meet, so it is almost impossible to be entirely prepared. It is
important to remember, however, that it is the INS official's job to
determine whether there is anything about your background or present
circumstances that preclude you from obtaining the immigration status
you desire ... the officer does not have anything against you
prepare for the meeting. Have all of your original documents in order
and review your forms. Bring copies all of your forms and all your
document originals. You should be able to respond to questions about
your forms without extensive referencing and confusion.
prepared to answer personal questions if you are at an interview
related to your marriage to a U.S. citizen.
follow the directions of the INS officer. If the officer wants to
interview you and your spouse separately, that is perfectly
listen carefully and answer only the question that the officer asks
bring an interpreter with you if you do not understand English.
dress appropriately for the occasion. This is an important meeting for
you and a good impression can't hurt.
remain calm. If you don't understand the question, ask the officer to
rephrase it. If you really do not know the answer to a question, it is
better to admit ignorance than make something up. It also helps to be
prepared. If you know there is a part of your application that will
raise suspicion, practice a truthful response.
show up on time. INS officers are notoriously difficult to reach and
requests for changes in interview times are not well-received. If you
fail to show up for your appointment, you will have to endure a
lengthy process to get another interview.
hire an attorney to accompany you if the thought of going through an
interview alone is too overwhelming.
joke around with the INS officer. Particularly avoid joking or sarcasm
related to drug dealing, communicable diseases, bigamy, or smuggling
people into the country.
argue with your spouse or other family members in the middle of an
interview. Agree before hand on what you will do if a disagreement
arises during the interview.
argue with the INS officer. If the INS officer says part of your
application is incomplete, ask for an explanation and attempt to
remedy the situation by using the documents and forms you have brought
lose your patience with the INS officer and refuse to answer
questions. Questions that may seem inappropriate or unimportant to you
are probably within the boundaries of what is allowed by INS policy.
Just keep remembering what the pay off is for going through with the
lie to the INS officer. If you feel you have something that would be
difficult to explain, hire an attorney. Your attorney should be able
to diffuse difficult situations during an interview.
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