If you are attempting to become a U.S. naturalized citizen, you may find yourself subject to an immigration interview with an official from the Bureau of U.S. Citizenship. Not all immigration processes involve an interview, however there are many that do. To some degree it can be difficult to foresee how the interview process will go since a lot depends on the individual who will be conducting the interview. But there are still some things you can do to prepare and improve the chances that you will have a successful meeting.

The Purpose of the Interview

The purpose of the interview is to allow the officer an opportunity to determine whether or not there is something in your background that would prevent you from becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen. The officer will ask a number of questions. It’s important to remember that the interviewer is just doing her job. If the questioning becomes tense, just keep in mind that he has nothing personally against you.

How to Dress

Dress professionally, as if you are interviewing for a job. Wear something clean, simple and comfortable that will also make a good first impression. Try to wear a conservative style. It’s best not to choose clothing or a hairstyle that is distracting if possible. Respect the Interviewer It goes without saying that you should make every effort to be on time for your meeting. Being late sends a message that you don’t respect the interviewer’s time, and that could be the beginning of an interview that just goes downhill from the moment you make your late appearance. Other interviewing tips include:

* Bring copies of all of your forms and important documents. * Err on the side of caution and conduct yourself in a formal professional manner during the meeting. You can take cues from the interviewer and decide how relaxed you’ll be. For instance if you have an interviewer who has a familiar, friendly communication approach, you might adapt to her style. In general it is best to observe certain rules of behavior: * Don’t crack jokes with the interviewer. What you may consider a harmless topic could be offensive to someone else. Also, the interviewer may take joking to mean that you don’t take the immigration process seriously. * Don’t engage in arguments during the interview. This means don’t argue with other family members who might also be in attendance, and don’t argue with the interviewer. * Don’t lie. If your lie is exposed you will have a difficult time explaining yourself. * Don’t give the officer trouble by refusing to answer questions. Keep in mind that achieving citizenship status is the ultimate goal.

About the Author: Attorney Rizvi is a Houston immigration lawyer.