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Things you should know before your immigration interview

It's a bit scary to think a single meeting with immigration officials may determine your ability to remain in the United States or face deportation to your country of origin. Georgia, like most other states, welcomes many immigrants as they come to build new lives for themselves and their loved ones. It's natural that you want to make a good impression and also that you want to avoid saying or doing anything that can jeopardize your visa.  

There's often a language barrier for immigrants who are new to the U.S. and are trying to understand others, as well as speak clearly so others can understand them. If you receive a notice to appear at a visa interview, you are allowed to take a translator with you. In fact, there are many types of support resources available to help you navigate the immigration interview system.  

Tips to help you prepare 

While there's no way to know for sure what types of questions immigration officials will ask you during your interview, there are certain things you can do to help prepare for your meeting. The following list provides information that may be useful in your particular situation: 

  • It's critical that you bring all necessary documentation to your immigration interview. You want to be able to show any type of paperwork or application that officials request. If you don't have a particular item on hand, it's best to let officials know right away.  
  • It's always best to be honest during your interview. If you don't know the answer to a particular question, you don't want to try to deceive anyone. Simply explain to officials that you can't give an answer at the time and let them know why. 
  • It's a good idea to be prompt when officials are expecting you at an immigration interview. Tardiness will likely work against you.  
  • Cooperation is the name of the game if you hope to secure favor with immigration officials. Refusing to follow instructions or arguing with your interviewer may not only keep you from achieving your goals, it might land you in an immigration detention center.  

An immigration interview is a solemn matter. Such meetings are certainly not the place for humorous interchanges. It's best to smile and act polite but avoid trying to joke around with your interviewer. Such attempts at levity can backfire, big time.  

Hopefully, all will go well and you can obtain the visa or other legal status you seek. If your visa will be temporary, it's best to stay connected to an immigrant advocate who can help you through the renewal process or any obstacles that rise in the meantime.  

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