I call these my “golden rules” for the client preparing to attend an adjustment of status interview at immigration. They have served many of my clients well, and if you study and apply them, they will help you too.
1. If you do not know the answer to a question the officer asks, or do not remember the answer, say that you do not know or remember – do not guess at the answer. If you are wrong this could lead to trouble, in that the officer may think you are lying if your answer contradicts a prior answer, or the truth. Officers will not likely hold it against you if you simply can’t remember. Having a bad memory is not a ground for denying your application.
2. Do not help each other answer the questions. Without fail, typically the man in a relationship will forget an important date, place or name, and the wife will, out of frustration or anger, try to intervene and assist the poor stupid man. This is a big no-no. Officers get very annoyed and/or angry when the person who is asked a question does not answer the question, or gets help from the spouse. I have seen interviews stopped and spouses separated when one spouse tries to help the other answer a question. Avoid this like the plague.
3. Answer only the question you are asked, and do it clearly and concisely. For instance, if the officer asks what color the sky is, you would answer “blue.” You would not proceed to ramble on about the different shades of blue, or the pretty color orange the sky often takes at sunset. If the question an officer asks can be answered by stating either yes, or no, say yes or no. Officers are not amused by rants. They have a job to do and people waiting. Further, the officer is not your priest taking a confession – listen carefully to the question and answer that question. As a side note, you should have told your attorney everything prior to the interview. You put yourself at a huge disadvantage if you are not forthright with your attorney, as the attorney will not have been able to prepare properly.
4. Do not ask the officer questions. If you do not understand a question, simply state that you do not understand the question. Save your questions for the attorney after the interview is over.
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