4 Good Reasons to Bring an Attorney to Your Green Card Interview
As immigration attorneys, we don’t just prepare paperwork or go to court for our clients. We also can advocate for you throughout the immigration process.
You have the right to bring your attorney to your USCIS interview. Here are some reasons why we encourage you to do that.
#1) An attorney can clarify questions.
Immigration officials sometimes ask questions in a confusing way. If you try to decipher the question for yourself and are wrong, you might give an answer that will harm your entire application.
Your attorney can stop and explain what the officer is looking for, ensuring that you provide accurate information.
#2) An attorney can set the record straight.
Sometimes, despite all best efforts, USCIS officers have incorrect information or a misinformed impression about the facts of an applicant’s case. They may deny the application based on that wrong information.
Your attorney can step in and correct the officer’s impression and can do so in a way that doesn’t make an enemy out of the officer.
#3) When an attorney is present, officers spend less time trying to trip you up.
Some USCIS officers deliberately ask questions they know are confusing or problematic because they are looking for reasons to deny applications. Many immigration officers assume almost every application they receive is fraudulent. They’ve even seen some of their fellow immigration officers commit fraud, so they may be suspicious and hostile.
They tend to engage in this behavior less when a lawyer is present.
If they go ahead and ask these “trip up” questions, your lawyer can ask for a rephrase, tell you that you don’t have to answer, or otherwise challenge the validity of the question.
#4) You’ll have a more successful interview overall.
Many people are afraid that bringing a lawyer to the USCIS interview will communicate they have something to hide. In truth, it conveys that you know your rights and are prepared to exercise them. This communication shifts the power dynamics of the interview in your favor.
In addition, a good attorney will work with you to prepare you before your interview. Even American-born couples would struggle to answer every question they might ask. Working with an attorney who is familiar with the process can ensure that you’ve stopped to learn the answer to every question they might think of.
You’ll feel confident, fresh, and ready to handle whatever USCIS throws at you. So long as you are honest with your lawyer, you’ll know that you and your attorney have already addressed any issues that might arise.
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