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The immigration interview is a critical step towards citizenship

One of the most important steps in the naturalization process is the interview with a representative of the Bureau of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. It is critical to be as prepared as possible for this meeting. In this post we'll run through a few things an applicant should and shouldn't do during the interview.

First, people should dress as they would for an important business meeting and show up on time. They need to bring all their original documents and forms with them. People should know what's in their documents and be able to answer questions about them without constantly referring to them during the interview. People also need to listen carefully to the interviewer's questions and make sure they understand each question before giving an answer. If people don't understand a question, it is better to ask the interviewer to rephrase it than risk giving an incorrect answer. If people don't know the answer, say so -- people should not guess or say something they aren't sure is true.

People should never joke with the interviewer, especially about things like smuggling, drug dealing or similar topics. Don't argue with the interviewer or other family members during the interview. And most importantly, tell the truth. If people get caught telling a lie, it can seriously damage their chances of becoming a U.S. citizen. If there is something in a person's background that the person is concerned about, it may be a good idea to consult an immigration attorney before the interview.

The path to U.S. citizenship is a long process. It requires patience, persistence and attention to detail. An experienced immigration lawyer can help an applicant navigate the application process as smoothly as possible.

Source: Findlaw.com, "Immigration Interview Do's and Don'ts," accessed Feb. 1, 2016

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