Sometimes being granted immigration status to the U.S. will require something called an immigration interview. Conducted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), your interview could be quite intense. In order to pass with flying colors, t is important that you know what is expected before you sit down in front of the interviewer. 

Although each interview is different, in general, there are a few things that you should do and things that you definitely should not. Unfortunately, these factors can have a huge effect on the outcome of your interview.

Knowing what to do and what to avoid before you sit down to be questioned could be the key to having your immigration status approved. So, make sure you know how to conduct yourself by following this quick list of dos and don’ts, provided by a good immigration attorney who has been through the process many times before.

The Dos

Do prepare ahead of time for every meeting and interview by having all the appropriate forms necessary. You will want a record of all things documented in the past for reference so there isn’t any confusion or mixed statements made that could jeopardize the outcome of your interview.

Do make sure that you are prepared to answer any personal or individualized question about your marriage or your spouse.

Do be prepared to be questioned separately from your spouse and follow the directions when given.

Do make sure to listen closely to what you are being asked before answering. If you don’t really understand the question, it is okay to ask for clarification. Only answer the question that the USCIS is asking and say nothing more.

Do bring along someone to interpret if you do not understand English well. If you don’t have someone, ask for a professional interpreter to help out.

Do make a good impression when being interviewed by wearing the appropriate clothing. Your appearance does matter when you are being interviewed. The right attire will lend a favorable impression.

Do not get upset or change your demeanor. Even if you become frustrated because you might not understand, it is perfectly acceptable to ask clarifying questions before you become agitated or to let the interviewer know that you aren’t quite sure what the question means. Even if the questions don’t seem fair, try not to lose your self-control.

If you run across a question that you think might trigger suspicions, anticipate and practice for it ahead of time, so that you can give the right response.

Do make sure to have legal representation with you. Even if you are in perfect standing, being interviewed can be overwhelming. With so much riding on the outcome of the interview, you will want to make sure that you have someone representing you, so that there are no misunderstandings.

The Don’ts

Don’t be sarcastic or joke with an agent. Even if their question seems ridiculous, there is a reason why they are asking. If you are sarcastic or sassy, it will not come across well. If asked about any serious things like smuggling people across the border or bout bigamy, simply answer the question honestly and without additional comment.

Don’t ever argue with a family member or spouse during the interview. Before you sit down, make sure you and your partner agree to disagree about some things, get along throughout the questioning process and put emotional feelings aside until it is over.

Don’t ever argue with the officer during the interview. If you have a disagreement with a statement made or if you believe something is false, clarify your side and ask for more of an explanation instead of becoming argumentative.

Don’t be difficult. The interviewer is often required to ask certain questions. Getting upset will not do anything but make the interviewer more suspicious, and, in the end, you will still have to answer the same questions before your status can be approved.

Don’t ever lie to a USCIS officer. If you feel as though answering something might hurt your case, it is still important to tell the truth, but make sure that you have someone there to defend you if things don’t go well

The interview is an important part of being granted immigration status and maintaining that status down the road. Make sure that you maintain your composure, answer truthfully and are fully prepared. There is a lot riding on your answers, so take it slow, ask for clarification, and make sure to have representation in the event that you might need it.