So you have been a Green Card holder for years? You filed your N-400 naturalization application, and now- the date has finally come- you received an interview notice! The day of your interview is exciting; however, it can also be nerve-racking. This article includes information on what to expect during your interview and some helpful tips and suggestions.
Key Steps to Prepare for Your Interview
- If possible- visit the USCIS field office a few days before the interview so that you will become familiar with the traffic, location of the correct building, and parking. Being prepared will ease your nerves on the day of your interview.
- Arrive at your interview 15-30 minutes before your scheduled time. It is not something you want to be late to!
- Dress appropriately. Although there is no formal dress policy, it is good to dress conservatively in business casual attire.
- Review a copy of the N-400 application you submitted. This copy is your naturalization application. You can expect a significant portion of the interview to be devoted to answering questions on the N-400, so be familiar with those questions and your responses.
- Be prepared to discuss any information that has changed since you submitted your application. These changes can include having started a new job, having had a child, or having traveled outside the U.S.
- Be Ready to Answer Questions about Your Green Card.
Immigration officials can ask applicants details about how they obtained their green cards. Officers seek any information that may indicate that someone received a green card illegally. If they uncover false information that could disqualify applicants from citizenship, and it may lead to removal or deportation proceedings. You must be ready to accurately answer questions about the process of getting your green card.
- If you have a green card based on marriage, be ready with specific details and dates about your partnership to prove that your green card is valid.
- If an Employer petitioned you, be prepared to submit proof that you worked for that employer after receiving your green card.
- Bring all relevant documents. This includes documents submitted as part of your application, such as your permanent resident card or marriage certificate. You will also need to bring evidence to document changes that occurred after your N-400 was filed, such as your new child’s birth certificate or an employment confirmation letter for a new job.
- Practice your English. Unless you qualify for an exemption, the interview will be conducted in English. You will be expected to speak enough English to respond to the interviewer. Consider taking an English class or self-study if you are concerned about your English skills.
- Study for the civics portion of the interview. You can expect to answer ten questions related to U.S. history and government. You will need to get six of them right. You can find a list of possible questions here. Many churches and other non-profits offer free or low-cost classes to prepare for this test. There are also apps, audiobooks, and self-study books available.
Can I bring other people to the interview with me?
Some people choose to bring someone with them to their interview, such as:
- An attorney – You should especially consider bringing an attorney if you have a complicating factor with your naturalization application. For instance, if you quickly divorced your spouse after they sponsored you for a Green Card, if you spent more than one year outside the U.S. since receiving your Green Card, or if you have a criminal record or a disability that prevents you from learning English.
- An interpreter– Most people must complete their interviews in English, but there are some exceptions. You should bring an interpreter if you qualify for one of those exceptions and do not speak much English.
- A friend or relative– You cannot bring relatives or friends with you to the interview. However, if you have a disability that requires you to have assistance from someone else, it is advisable to contact the local field office ahead of time to explain why you need someone to attend with you.
Curious to learn more about other interviews? Check Brudner Law’s: Do You Need an Attorney at Your Green Interview
Here are some frequently asked questions about the Naturalization Interview:
Where is the interview conducted?
Your interview will take place at a local USCIS field office. Most states have at least one; some have several. You will meet with your interviewer in a private area such as an office or cubicle.
How long does the interview last?
The entire interview can take between 20 -45 minutes. You will most likely spend more time preparing for, traveling to, and then waiting for your turn to interview than you will spend meeting with the interviewer!
What should I expect after the interview?
There are three possible outcomes:
- Approval– The officer conducting the interview will likely tell you if your application was approved, and you will be given information on your oath ceremony.
- Held for review/continued– the officer might tell you that more information is required for them to decide your case. If that occurs, you will receive a letter that your case is held for review. The officer will inform you at the interview precisely what additional evidence is required, or you will receive it in the mail.
- Denial– If your application is denied, you will be given a written explanation explaining the denial reasons. You can choose to appeal the denial or refile your application. If you fail the civics portion, you will be allowed to reschedule your interview to retake it, answering different questions.
Prepare for your Citizenship Interview with an Immigration Lawyer!
At Brudner Law, we are up to date with the latest trends and developments in immigration policies to best prepare our clients in the application process and the citizenship interview.
Want to feel more confident in your interview with personalized preparedness? Call Brudner Law 714.794.9366 or contact us online to speak with an Orange County immigration attorney today!
Be Prepared to Answer Questions about Your Green Card.
An essential part of the process of gaining U.S. citizenship is the citizenship interview. You will have to sit down with an officer from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) who will ask you a number of questions. These questions help to determine your eligibility for citizenship in a variety of ways. An experienced immigration lawyer in Orange County can advise you of common questions and help prepare you for the interview.
What to watch out for…
Among immigration officials is to ask applicants details about how they
obtained their green cards. Officers are seeking any information that may indicate that someone obtained a green card illegally, which would then disqualify them from citizenship, and it may lead to removal or deportation proceedings. It is absolutely critical that you are ready to accurately answer questions about the process of getting your green card.
Some unlawful ways to obtain a green card can
- Forging documents or giving fraudulent information on your application
- Faking an engagement or marriage
Be prepared to answer questions about your personal documents and the answers on your green card application. This application occurred more than five years ago, so it may be difficult to recall specific details if you are not prepared. Not knowing the answers, however, can also raise suspicions for the officer.
If you received a green card based on your marriage, you should be ready with dates and details about how you met to prove your relationship is legitimate and that your green card is valid. If you were petition by an Employer, be prepared to submit proof that you worked for that employer after you received your green card.
Discuss Your Citizenship Application with an Immigration Lawyer in Orange County
At Brudner Law, we stay on top of all new trends and developments in immigration policies to best prepare our clients for the citizenship interview and application process. Call 714.794.9366 or contact us online to speak with an Orange County immigration attorney today.
For more information: https://my.uscis.gov/citizenship/what_to_expect