An interview is one of the steps of the marriage green card application. Its purpose is to assess the authenticity of a couple’s marriage and the information they provide in their application. Therefore, the USCIS usually invites the couple for an interview, although they may interview them separately or together. This interview holds high stakes in the green card application process. Unfortunately, it’s also nerve-racking for many applicants causing them to make common mistakes they could avoid. Here are some common marriage green card interview mistakes applicants make during a marriage green card interview.
Not Working With a Marriage Green Card Attorney
Marriage green card applications can be complicated. For instance, proving that your marriage is authentic may be challenging if you’ve been married for less than two years. A competent immigration attorney comes in handy in such a case, given that they have extensive knowledge of US immigration requirements and laws. In addition, an attorney can help you prepare for your interview to avoid these common marriage green card interview mistakes and reduce the chances of a denial.
Whether your case is complicated or not, having an attorney makes the whole interview process less complicated and also gives you the confidence to face the interviewer.
Contact the Law Office of Serah Waweru to consult about your green card application and what you need to do before the interview.
Forgetting Crucial Interview Materials
There are some vital interview materials that you shouldn’t forget to carry to your interview. For instance, you must bring a government-issued identification document such as your passport to ascertain that you’re the right interviewee.
In addition, you must bring all the requirements listed on your interview notice. Without these materials, the interviewing officer may perceive that you weren’t prepared for the interview and may not conclude your application on that day.
Answering Questions Incorrectly
During your interview, the USCIS officer cross-checks your responses with the information you provided in your application. If they don’t correspond, the officer will have many questions for you.
Even though the interview questions aren’t unusual, it’s easy to forget or mix up information, especially when you’re stressed out and nervous. For this reason, you must prepare for the interview by practicing the common questions asked during a marriage green card interview.
Here are over 120 questions to guide you before the interview. In addition, your immigration attorney can help you learn the correct responses after evaluating your application.
Saying Inappropriate Things During the Interview
Sometimes, the interviewing officer asks tough questions, especially when seeking more information on a sensitive matter such as your criminal history. These questions may seem offensive, causing you to say inappropriate things to the officer. As a result, the officer may decide your case based on your inappropriate response.
You must maintain your composure throughout the interview. Remember to address the officer respectfully and to answer all questions politely. If you bring your attorney, they may seek clarification for a question and also clarify your response to the officer to avoid inappropriate answers during the interview.
Not Bringing Original Documents
You must include copies of some vital documents in your green card application. These documents include your birth certificate, marriage certificate, sponsor’s proof of citizenship or LPR status, etc. However, these copies only facilitate the application process but aren’t sufficient to prove the authenticity of your documents.
For this reason, you must bring original documents of these copies for inspection by the USCIS officer. Without these documents, the officer won’t be able to make an informed decision about your application. They may also conclude that the copies of your documents are false, leading to a denial or rejection.
Saying Too Much
You need to be specific with your answers and only respond to the questions the officer asks. Saying too much reveals unnecessary information that may cause misconceptions about your application. Always remember that you don’t have to say anything if the officer doesn’t ask you.
Arguing With the Immigration Officer
Even if the immigration officer isn’t right about something, arguing with them is a huge mistake. The officer may perceive that you’re trying to hide or provide false information about your application. As a result, things may get out of hand too quickly, leading to undesirable interview outcomes.
If you feel the officer isn’t treating you rightly, request to speak to a supervisor. But, overall, ease the tension by remaining calm and avoiding confrontations with the officer.
Not Showing Up On Time
Timekeeping is essential for a successful interview. If you arrive late, the officer may cancel the interview, forcing you to request a reschedule. However, rescheduling another interview is a different process that involves explaining why you missed your interview. In addition, you may have to wait for several weeks for the USCIS to reschedule your interview.
Not Dressing Up Decently for the Interview
You also need to show up to the interview in decent clothes as it says a lot about you. Wearing casual, revealing, or distracting clothing isn’t appropriate for this occasion. You may want to wear business casual clothes or a suit and a tie if that suits you.
Answering Questions Not Asked (Volunteering Information)
Avoid providing the officer with more information they didn’t ask. For instance, giving the officer a document before they ask you about it is volunteering information. The officer may discover some information that may defame your case. As a result, you may lose your chance of obtaining a green card.
Lying to the Interview Officer About Your Criminal Record
The USCIS conducts a comprehensive search of your criminal history during background checks to determine if you committed any crime affecting your eligibility for a green card. This search investigates records from the FBI, sex offender registries, and any other records in related agencies. Therefore, you can be sure that the officer will find out about any lie.
Even if you were acquitted of a crime, lying about your criminal record worsens the situation. Besides an application denial, you’re likely to be detained and deported for severe crimes that affect your admissibility to the US.
Not Bringing an Interpreter if You’re Not Fluent in English
The USCIS officer uses English to conduct the interview. Therefore, if you’re a non-English speaker, you must bring an interpreter fluent in both English and your language. Struggling to speak or understand English during the interview is time-consuming. In addition, the interviewer may not condone such drama and can easily decide to reject your application.
Not Translating Foreign Documents
If your documents are in any language other than English, you must have them translated into English. This also includes documents of your US citizen or LPR spouse in a foreign language. Given that the USCIS only accepts applications in English failing to translate your documents leads to a rejected application.
Not Preparing for the Interview Questions
Preparing for the interview helps you to know what to expect. It also boosts your confidence and enables you to avoid all the mistakes mentioned here.
The most effective way of preparing for the interview questions is by seeking the guidance of a competent immigration attorney. Given that the interview questions cover a broad scope, the attorney can pinpoint areas that the officer is likely to question most, depending on the circumstances of your case. Thus, your preparation will be more straightforward.
These common marriage green card interview mistakes may seem petty. However, their consequences are severe. For example, the USCIS officer may deny your application because you couldn’t communicate well in English, yet you didn’t bring an interpreter to the interview. Or, you may be deported over your criminal history that you lied about, even though an attorney would have helped you find a solution.
You must prepare your marriage green card interview to avoid these mistakes. However, hiring an immigration attorney makes things easier for you. After assessing your case, the attorney will help you master the appropriate responses. In addition, you may bring the attorney to your interview for legal support, especially if your case is complicated.
Contact The Law Office of Serah Waweru today about your marriage green card interview concerns. Attorney Serah Waweru and her team will be happy to help.