Skip to main content

Do I really need an attorney for an interview with Immigration Services (USCIS)?

It will largely depend on whether negative factors exist in your case (for example: a complicated immigration history, a criminal record, issues with fraud, multiple marriages or petitions, etc.). An immigration attorney works like an insurance policy: you may or may not need one at the time of the interview, but when you do, you will be glad you hired one.

What does an immigration attorney DO at an interview?
  • An attorney prepares the client(s) for the interview. In our firm, we usually meet with our clients to explain the process to them, go through a series of hypothetical questions that may be asked at the interview, and verify that all documents are in order;
  • An attorney clarifies questions asked by the officer during the interview;
  • An attorney rectifies any mistakes or misunderstandings from any previous filings done by the applicant or another attorney on behalf of the applicant;
  • An attorney ensures that proper procedure is taking place at the time of the interview (for example, that the officer is asking relevant questions, that the officer is polite to the applicants, that the officers are basing their decisions on substantial evidence, etc.);
  • An attorney can prevent an applicant from saying or doing something that could potentially hurt his or her case.

What does an immigration attorney NOT do at an interview?
  • An attorney does not answer questions for the applicant (the interview is about the applicant, not the attorney);
  • An attorney does not translate for the applicant (the applicant must  have his or her own interpreter);
  • An attorney does not lie for the applicant. It is important to remember that, before the interview starts, applicants always get sworn by the officer and asked to tell the truth, so it is unethical for the applicant or the attorney to lie to the officers (and this ultimately hurts your case).
Even after the interview is over, an attorney can follow up with the officer, respond to any requests for additional evidence from the officer, and make sure that all important documents (like green cards and work permits) are delivered timely to applicants.

You can always make an appointment to talk to an attorney and discuss whether you should hire one to attend an interview with you. 

Johanna Cochran, Associate Attorney


Popular posts from this blog

If You Are An Immigrant (even a US Citizen), Here Are 9 Things You Should Know

Are you a Naturalized U.S. Citizen, Lawful Permanent Resident, Visa Holder, or an Undocumented Immigrant? We recommend you take the following steps to protect yourself in our current version of America.
The last couple of weeks have reminded immigrants, even naturalized U.S. citizens, that they were not born in the United States. Our office has received countless phone calls, emails, and social media messages from people worrying about what their family’s future in the United States holds.
Most people want to know what they can do now to protect themselves from what promises to be a wave of anti-immigration activity by the federal government. Trump's Executive Order on Interior Enforcement has some provisions that should make most Americans shiver.  We recommend the following actions for each of the following groups:
Naturalized U.S. citizens. In particular if you have a foreign accent, and you are traveling within 100 miles of any US Border (including the oceans), we strongly rec…

Why is USCIS Taking So Long to Renew DACA Work Permits?

If the calls to our office are any indicator, there are thousands of DACA recipients whose work permit applications were filed at least three months prior to expiration, who are still waiting for their renewed work permits.  Without renewed permits, these individuals lose the right to work legally, the right to drive, and may once again accrue unlawful presence.

The DHS published a notice in October 2014 advising DACA recipients that they could file their request for extension up to 150 days (5 months) prior to expiration.  As with all things government, very few of the DACA recipients, who tend not to frequent government websites, knew about the memo and many did not file so far before expiration perhaps thinking that extending a work permit was a like extending a drivers license, its is done in a few minutes.  As an experienced immigration lawyer will tell you, the USCIS does nothing quickly, and certainly does not worry that a person may lose their job or their driver's licens…


Todas las personas en los Estados Unidos, incluidos los extranjeros y aun los con ordenes de deportacion, tienen ciertos derechos básicos que deben ser respetados por los agentes de Inmigración y Aduanas (ICE). Estos derechos se derivan tanto de la Constitución de los Estados Unidos. y las leyes de Estados Unidos. Como extranjero, usted tiene los siguientes derechos:

Usted tiene el derecho de negar la entrada a un agente de ICE a su casa sin una orden válida. Esta orden debe ser firmado por un juez. Usted puede negarse a abrir la puerta, o se puede cerrar la puerta después de descubrir que el agente no tiene una orden válida. Los agentes del ICE generalmente no vienen con una orden judicial. Estos agentes suelen venir a la casa de alguien con una orden final de deportación, muy temprano en la mañana. Si alguien está golpeando en su puerta a las 6:00 am, no le es requerido abrir la puerta. Mirar fuera de primera. Si es un agente del gobierno, ust…