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Tips for talking with the USICS

At some point, an immigrant living in California or any other state may need to speak with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Individuals may be able to have a positive experience by preparing for their interviews. As part of the preparation process, obtain multiple copies of relevant documents and research them carefully. Those who don't speak English have the right to bring an interpreter to the hearing.

Individuals who are being interviewed should listen carefully and provide answers only to questions that are asked of them. An interviewee is advised to dress appropriately and show up to the interview on time. Failure to do so could result in a lengthy delay to get another interview. Immigrants who are being interviewed are urged to stay calm and avoid arguments with family members or the USICS agent. It is important to note than official can interview family members separately if needed.

It is never a good idea to lie or attempt to mislead a USICS agent, and that is a hard rule even if the truth could make an immigrant look bad. Feel free to ask for clarification if there is confusion over what the agent is asking. Generally speaking, it is better to admit ignorance about a subject than making something up. Individuals are encouraged to answer questions seriously and to not make jokes.

A person who is seeking asylum or other forms of legal status in the country may need the assistance of attorney while dealing with immigration authorities. An attorney might work to protect an immigrant's right to due process regardless of their current status in the country. An attorney may also make it easier to understand questions an USICS agent may ask or easier to understand the immigration interview process in general.

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