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Does it matter what you wear to an immigration interview?

If you've recently arrived in Georgia as an immigrant from another country of origin, you may still be settling in and learning your way around your new community. Even if you've been here for some time now, perhaps since your wedding day a year or more ago, you may still be encountering various challenges in adapting your new lifestyle.

There are many issues that can arise that would prompt immigration officials to notify you by mail that the U.S. government is requesting your presence at an interview. Just the thought of it may be enough to cause a significant rise in your blood pressure from anxiety. In addition to gathering all the documents you may need during your interview, you may also want to think about the clothing you will wear.

Why does it matter?

While there are no official U.S. immigration law regulations regarding clothing when you attend an immigration interview, it's no secret that what you wear will prompt either negative or positive impressions in the people who are asking you questions. If you hope to obtain a positive outcome, you'll want to make as good an impression as possible. The following tips may be helpful:

  • If you've already been to a job interview in the United States, then you can use that as a gauge for how to dress at an immigration interview.
  • Business casual attire is appropriate in such situations.
  • You definitely want to avoid any type of clothing that officials may consider controversial or to which they might take offense, such as T-shirts that display profanity.
  • Insofar as hairstyles, facial hair, cosmetics, etc., it is typically best to avoid extremes.
  • You do not want your appearance to cause distractions during your interview.

Your immigration interviewer is supposed to set aside personal biases and must conduct your interview in a non-judgmental manner. However, the human psyche often subliminally processes what the eyes see, and a disheveled or outrageous appearance may unintentionally cause negative reactions. If your goal is to weigh the balances in your favor, then you want to take advantage any opportunity to create a positive impression.

Increase your chances for a positive outcome

By choosing clean, neat, conservative business-style clothing, you can show your interviewers that you respect the gravity of the situation and are prepared to conduct yourself in a professional manner. Even if you dress appropriate to the occasion, it doesn't necessarily mean you will not run into any obstacles, which is why it is also a good idea to know how to access outside support when needed.

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