Do You Need an Attorney at Your Green Card Interview?

A man and woman shaking hands after an interview

Your green card interview is the final step of the process after filing all of your paperwork and waiting months to get your green card — for many people,  it’s an intimidating experience. 

Missing the required documentation or saying the wrong thing can delay the entire process or result in your green card being denied. Hiring an immigration attorney to represent you during the interview can help you navigate the process and avoid making costly mistakes.

Preparing for your green card interview or getting ready to file? Our Orange County immigration lawyers are here to help.

Related: Divorce & Green Cards: What Happens Next

Benefits of Having an Attorney at Your Citizenship Interview

There are various ways an immigration attorney can help during your green card interview:

  1. An Immigration Lawyer Can Help You Avoid Making Mistakes

Filing your paperwork and supporting documents correctly is one of the most important parts of the process leading up to your green card interview. It’s an extensive and complicated process, and a single mistake could lead to getting your green card application rejected.

At your interview, presenting the requested documents and necessary information is crucial for approval. Otherwise, it might take weeks or months for the USCIS to issue a Notice of Intent to Deny or Request for Evidence.

An immigration attorney, like our experts at Brudner Law in Orange County, can help you determine what to bring to the interview based on the unique facts of your case and interview notice. In addition, they can help you prepare for the next steps after your interview, evaluating whether or not you can expect a favorable decision.

  1. They Can Help You Understand the Law

At your in-person interview, the examiner might ask for information about the questions on application forms, your admissibility, background, employment, martial history, entry into the US, etc.

Many times, these questions can be unclear or vague; an attorney can help clarify what’s being asked during your interview. In the case of legally or factually incorrect answers, your attorney can request the examiner to rephrase the questions or show objective records that point out mistakes.

  1. An Immigration Lawyer Can Explain Your Options

Having an immigration attorney present at your green card interview can help advocate and protect your legal rights. While they cannot respond to questions directed to you or help you hide requested information, they can raise objections to inappropriate questions, advise you on legal issues, or request to speak with a supervisor if the interview becomes antagonistic or argumentative.

An attorney can advise you on any weaknesses or pitfalls in your case that could cause issues at the interview, help you explain unfavorable information, and avoid misrepresenting material facts. Your attorney can also help you determine how and when to present documentary evidence and testimony to offset negative factors and highlight the positive factors of your case.

Don’t go alone — our Orange County/Irvine immigration attorneys can help you better represent yourself during your green card interview.

Preparing For Your Green Card Interview With An Attorney

A couple talking with an immigration lawyer about adjustment of status procedures.

Our immigration attorneys at Brudner Law can help you prepare for the questions you’ll have to answer during your green card interview.

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Before and during your interview, you’ll have to provide a variety of documentation and prepare to answer questions from a USCIS officer — an immigration lawyer can help ensure you have the right paperwork and understand how the interview will work.

  • Green Card Interview Questions to Answer

Preparing for your green card interview is stressful; however, an attorney can help ease that stress by helping you understand what questions to expect.

Depending on your immigrant category, the interview may be simple or extremely complex. You’ll have to verify the information included in your application and state any life changes since you submitted for your green card.

Depending on how you’re applying for your green card, there are different questions to expect. For example, if you’re getting a green card through marriage, you’ll have to answer questions about your and your spouse’s life together, showing that it’s a genuine relationship.

  • Supporting Documentation for Your Green Card Interview

During the application process and your green card interview, you’ll need to bring a significant amount of supporting documents. Each case may require slightly different documentation, and working with an immigration attorney can ensure that you have everything you need.

Typically, you’ll need to provide:

  • Two passport-size photos
  • A government-issued ID with a photograph
  • Your birth certificate
  • Documentation of your immigrant category
  • Inspection and admission paperwork
  • Form I-864
  • Certified court and police records
  • Several USCIS forms, depending on your case
  • Proof of lawful status in the US
  • Proof of relationship in some cases (adoption decree, marriage certificate, birth certificate, etc.)
  • Proof of marriage or termination of marriage
  • Employer documentation proving your eligibility

Working with an attorney before and during your green card interview is the best way to ensure you don’t forget to bring any required documents.

Related: What Happens If My Green Card Expires?

An Immigration Attorney Can Help Before, During, and After Your Interview

an immigration attorney having a video conversation with a client

Your immigration attorney is a valuable resource during the green card application and interview process. They can help you:

  • Prepare for the interview with hypothetical questions
  • Ensure you have the required documentation
  • Clarify questions asked by the interviewer
  • Address mistakes or misunderstandings on your application
  • Ensure you are treated fairly
  • Prevent you from accidentally hurting your case
  • Follow-up with the USCIS officer after the interview
  • Respond to requests for additional evidence or documents
  • Ensure you get your immigration documents and green card delivered quickly

Is having an immigration attorney present at your interview required? No. However, it can help ensure that the interview and entire application process goes smoothly — Schedule a free consultation with our Orange County and Irvine immigration lawyers.