What You Should Expect at Your Naturalization Interview

What You Should Expect at Your Naturalization Interview

In order for one to obtain citizenship, you must get over the last major hurdle, which is a successful naturalization interview. As an experienced Pasadena citizenship lawyer, I will explain what you should expect and how to make sure that your interview is a successful one.

Should I Bring a Pasadena Naturalization Attorney?

It is completely optional to bring an attorney with you. It is not required to tell U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that you’re bringing a guest with you. If you choose to bring your Pasadena citizenship lawyer, he or she will need to give the USCIS officer a G-28 form, which shows that you have legal representation.

If you choose to have a lawyer present with you during your interview, it is important to know that it really isn’t going to change anything because the USCIS officer is still going to ask you the same questions. In fact, your lawyer will not be able to help with you the questions or answer them for you. The lawyer will need to sit there quietly during the interview, as it is your interview only.

However, if you have a legal issue within your case and you are unsure of how to deal with it, then a lawyer will be able to articulate what the issue is and protect your rights at the same time. For instance, if you have had an issue with police, overstayed in the United States, or quickly divorced someone after obtaining a green card, then having a lawyer present with you is a good idea, as he or she will be able to thoroughly explain everything to you and the officer and there will not be any gray areas.

Arriving at the USCIS Office

Once you arrive at the USCIS building, you will have to go through a security checkpoint and then check in with the person at the office where the citizenship interviews take place. While you wait for your appointment, be patient, as they often schedule other people around the same time. Even so, it is extremely important to arrive on time or else there is a chance that the USCIS could drop you case file.

As for the interview itself, it will either take place in a private office or cubicle. You will sit across from the officer and you will have the option of being accompanied by your lawyer. The officer will begin the interview process by asking you to raise your right hand and you must swear to tell the truth throughout the entire interview.

Reviewing the N-400 Application

The officer will go over your written application, along with all of the documents that you submitted. The officer will ask questions that you answered on the form to confirm any information you filled out and will test your English while doing so. It is very important that you thoroughly go over the N-400 form carefully beforehand and practice the interview at home with someone who speaks English so he or she can help you.

Discussing Changes in Your Form N-400

It is important to know that if there were any changes made to your N-400 application since you filled it out, that you are prepared to provide the corrections if asked. Most changes should not be an issue. For instance, if you had another child since filling out the form, then make sure that you give your child’s full name along with a copy of the birth certificate.

However, there are two changes that could affect your U.S. citizenship, which are:

  • If you have recently divorced someone after obtaining your green card
  • If you have been arrested or have done anything unlawful that would affect you

If any of the two changes above are true, this can seriously affect your chances of obtaining citizenship and your right to remain in the United States. In addition, you should consult with the most experienced naturalization lawyer Pasadena has if this is the case.

You should never hold back any information or lie to the officer even if you believe that it may affect your citizenship. Assume that the officer knows everything about you and remain truthful at all times throughout your interview. If you are unsure of an answer, tell the officer just that and do not make up an answer.

What You Will Be Tested On

You will be tested on the following:

Your English ability: The officer will be observing and listening very carefully to you to make sure that you understand everything he or she asks starting from the very beginning of the interview. If you don’t understand a question, ask the officer politely to repeat the question or rephrase it so you have a thorough understanding. In addition, you will be asked to write a sentence in English, which he or she will read aloud. It is very important that you are confident in your English and that you have a strong understanding before applying for citizenship, because if not, there is a high probability that you will be denied.

U.S. Civics: There is a chance that you will be tested on civics and the officer will ask you up to ten questions from a list of 100 possible questions. If you answer six of the 10 correctly, they will stop and you will have passed this certain segment of the interview. However, if you fail to answer at least six of the questions correctly, your interview will need to be rescheduled within the next 90 days.

Talk to a Lawyer

If you are applying for citizenship or facing immigration issues of any kind, don’t hesitate to contact a Pasadena immigration attorney. We will be able to help you every step of the way. We are experts in helping those in need of advice and guidance with anything related to immigration and citizenship.

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