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Stressed about upcoming green card interview?

When you are told to prepare for a meeting with an official from the Bureau of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, it's enough to make your blood pressure soar. Like most immigrants in New York, you likely understand that such meetings often determine the ultimate fate of residency for those who have arrived here from other countries of origin. If the purpose of your impending meeting is to gain approval for green card application, you have every reason to want to make as good an impression as possible.

With that in mind, there are definitely a few things you don't want to do, such as show up a half hour late for your appointment or walk in wearing a dirt-stained shirt. A key factor in achieving success when meeting with a USCIS official is to look your best and act as though you realize the importance of the matter at hand.

Tips for success regarding green card interviews

In addition to dressing in appropriate attire for your meeting, you may want to consider the following recommendations to help increase your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome:

  • It's important to listen carefully to everything the USCIS official says and all that he or she asks you.  If you do not understand a particular question, avoid trying to fake it because you may wind up making matters worse. Simply and politely explain to the official that you do not understand the question, or do not know a particular answer.
  • It's always best to come prepared with all your important immigration documents at the ready. Although you should be able to answer most questions pertaining to your documents, you may ask permission to reference a form if you have trouble recalling a certain date, such as when you arrived in the United States.
  • If you know language is a significant barrier for you, try to arrange to have an interpreter accompany you to your green card interview.
  • Whatever you do, do not make light of the situation. Some people make the mistake of trying to joke around with USCIS officials, but such humor typically does not go over very well. It's far better that an immigration official sees you exhibiting a respectful attitude toward the important events at hand.
  • With regard to humor, making jokes about smuggling immigrants into the United States or paying someone to marry you for citizenship may not only not be taken in jest but may land you in a heap of legal trouble as well.
  • Never argue with immigration officials. If you believe the official facilitating your green card interview is making a mistake, seeking appropriate support to rectify the situation is better than trying to handle it on your own by disputing his or her actions.

If you believe someone violates your personal rights, you can seek help to address the matter in court. It's understandable that you may feel nervous and worried that your green card interview will not be successful and that you will face possible deportation. This is a fear that is common among immigrants.

By seeking clarification of U.S. immigration law and understanding your personal rights, you may be able to overcome any obstacles that arise and continue pursuing your dream for a better life in New York.

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