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Preparing for In-Person Interviews in the U.S. Immigration Process

Posted on in Immigration

Westchester County immigration interview lawyerFrom the moment you decide you would like to immigrate to the U.S. until the moment you become a United States citizen, you will go through at least two in-person interviews with U.S. immigration officials. 

When Interviews Are Required During the Immigration Process

Many people first come to the U.S. on non-immigrant visas, such as F1 visas for college students or H1-B visas for skilled workers. In order to get those visas, the applicant must appear at a U.S. consulate in their home country for an in-person interview. When such individuals decide they would like to convert their temporary status to lawful permanent resident (green card) status, they often find an employer willing to sponsor them for an employment-based immigration visa, most commonly an EB-2 or EB-3 visa. An in-person interview is again required prior to issuance of an EB visa. 

Other people are able to become lawful permanent residents via a family-based immigration visa, often sponsored by a family member (parent, spouse, child, or sibling) who is already a lawful permanent resident or citizen of the United States. An in-person interview is required prior to the issuance of immediate relative (IR), family preference (F), and fiancé (K) visas.

The final interview will take place when an immigrant applies to become a naturalized citizen of the U.S.

What Happens During an In-Person Interview

These interviews generally take less than 20 minutes. An interviewee is allowed to bring an attorney to the interview to advise them, but the attorney cannot answer the questions for them. An interpreter may also be present if necessary, as interviews are conducted in English.

One of the first things that will happen is that the interviewee will be placed under oath, meaning that he or she promises to tell the truth. The interviewer will then verify the person’s basic biographical information, such as name and date of birth. The information provided on the visa application form will be compared against various documents the interviewee was required to bring to the interview, such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate, and passport.

The interviewer may then ask the applicant to explain certain parts of their application, such as any criminal history or medical history that could cause denial of the visa. When the immigrant is a spouse or fiancé of a U.S. citizen or green card holder, the interviewer may ask questions to determine that a true marital relationship exists.

Contact a Stamford Immigration Attorney

What you say at an immigration interview can be as important as the accuracy and completeness of your application. To ensure that your application is prepared properly and that you are ready for your in-person interview, work with an experienced Fairfield County immigration lawyer. Gonzalez Law Office, LLC has over 15 years of experience in helping individuals and families achieve their immigration goals. Call us at 203-323-1440.

Sources:

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/the-immigrant-visa-process/interview/interview-prepare.html

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/employment-based-immigrant-visas.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/19/us/green-card-marriage-interview-test.html

https://www.uscis.gov/ilink/docView/AFM/HTML/AFM/0-0-0-1/0-0-0-2449.html

Fairfield County Bar Association Connecticut Bar Association American Immigration Lawyers Association Connecticut American Immigration Lawyers Association
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