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Tips for a successful immigration interview

At some point during your adjustment phase to a new life in Colorado, you may have to attend an interview with immigration officials. There may be several reasons for this, some more benign than others. If Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have called you to a Stokes interview, it means the U.S. government doubts the validity of your marriage to a U.S. citizen, which is definitely no minor issue.  

Many other immigration processes also require interviews. There are several things to do and not do that may help you increase your chances for favorably resolving whatever matter happens to be at hand. The good news is that you don't have to go it alone. There are support networks in place to assist you in all aspects of immigration, including accompanying you to an immigration interview.  

Things to avoid when answering interview questions 

You may be one of many people in Colorado who tend to handle stressful situations by attempting to add levity. However, an official immigration interview is not the best time or place to test your humor skills. In fact, joking around with ICE officials may be quite counterproductive to your interview goals. The following list mentions additional behaviors you'll want to avoid: 

  • Arguing with your spouse in the presence of immigration officials: If you and your spouse disagree about a particular detail regarding interview questions, such as an important date or name, it is best to try to remain calm and simply answer the questions as accurately and honestly as you can. 
  • Entering confrontation with ICE officials: Even if you believe an immigration official or interviewer is trying to intimidate you, you'll want to avoid arguing with him or her. An argumentative attitude may cause officials to suspect you are trying to hide something. 
  • Refusing to answer: Some of the questions the interviewer asks may be intensely personal or seem private to you. If you refuse to answer personal questions, you lower your chances for a successful interview outcome. 
  • Dressing in street clothes: Your immigration interview is an important event that may determine your ability to remain in the United States. You up your chances of making a positive impression on your interviewer if you dress in a business-casual fashion. Your interview is not the time for wearing pajama pants in public or t-shirts with potentially offensive sayings on them.

If you avoid these things, you're more likely to have a good interview. The bottom line is that the impression you make upon your interviewer is just as critical as providing the correct answers to the questions.  

Do these things 

Being on time for your interview is one of the most important things you can do to attain success. While five or 10 minutes may not seem like a big deal to you, your interviewer may think you are not taking the situation seriously if you are tardy. Also, keep the following things in mind: 

  • Come prepared: Always attend an immigration interview with important documents in hand. Bring anything you think you might need, such as original documents, bank account information, driver's license, etc. 
  • Enlist language support: If you find speaking and understanding English a serious challenge, you are definitely not alone in your struggle. You may bring an interpreter to your interview. 
  • Follow instructions: It's best to not question the decisions of your interviewer, such as if he or she requests to speak to you apart from your spouse. ICE officials may take any resistance on your part as a sign of aggression.  

It's understandable that you'd be nervous when called to an immigration interview. Just remember that many other Colorado immigrants have successfully navigated the process before you. Keep your goals in mind and know where to seek support to help you achieve them.

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