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316 Mile Long Building

Amorsolo Street

Legaspi Village

Makati City

1200 Philippines

Telephone: (632) 8941441

TeleFax: (632) 8124296



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US Immigration Articles




Coming to America

Do's and Don'ts: BCIS Interviews

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 personally.


DO 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.

DO be prepared to answer personal questions if you are at an interview related to your marriage to a U.S. citizen.

DO follow the directions of the INS officer. If the officer wants to interview you and your spouse separately, that is perfectly appropriate.

DO listen carefully and answer only the question that the officer asks you.

DO bring an interpreter with you if you do not understand English.

DO dress appropriately for the occasion. This is an important meeting for you and a good impression can't hurt.

DO 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.

DO 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.

DO hire an attorney to accompany you if the thought of going through an interview alone is too overwhelming.


DON'T joke around with the INS officer. Particularly avoid joking or sarcasm related to drug dealing, communicable diseases, bigamy, or smuggling people into the country.

DON'T 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.

DON'T 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 with you.

DON'T 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 interview.

DON'T 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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Guzman Taņedo & Acain Law Offices
316 Mile Long Building, Amorsolo Street, Makati City, Philippines - Telephone: 894.14.41; Telefax: 812.42.96

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