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Will I Need a Lawyer during My Interview for a Green Card?

With the increased pace of workforce reduction measures in the information technology sector, many skilled foreign workers in the United States are considering options that would allow them to stay even if their H-1B visas aren’t extended. The options range from evaluating other non-immigrant visas to pursuing permanent residency under certain circumstances. None of these options require foreigners to retain legal counsel. Petitions can be directly submitted to regional centers of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and although having lawyers present at interviews isn’t a requisite, it’s highly recommended.

Access to legal counsel is a vital aspect of the immigration process. The position USCIS takes on this issue comes from the opinions of the Executive Office for Immigration Review, which encourages foreigners to retain the services of immigration law firms or seek other means of legal assistance. With this in mind, immigrants who are notified of upcoming interviews to complete their green card petitions can certainly bring attorneys along. In many cases, USCIS adjudicators appreciate the presence of legal professionals who can explain the process and clarify things for their clients.

Family-Based Green Card Interviews

Foreign-born relatives and spouses of U.S. citizens or permanent residents who seek to obtain legal immigration status will be interviewed by USCIS at least once before getting green cards. At these interviews, case adjudicators focus on the history of relationships or family ties, the backgrounds of applicants, and the veracity of the information provided in the petition packets. A single instance of incorrect or ambiguous information could cause adjudicators to reschedule an interview or issue a denial. This is something immigration attorneys can prevent.

Employment-Based Green Card Interviews

The EB visa category is unique in the sense that it presents extensive criteria for eligibility. In the case of EB-1 visas, the process starts with American employers obtaining certification from USCIS and preparing employer sponsored petitions. San Diego immigration lawyers are routinely retained by employers to handle everything from the beginning, and this includes attending interviews. Since EB-1 visas are extended to foreigners with extraordinary abilities, it’s in the best interests of sponsoring firms to ensure their most valuable workers don’t run into issues at their green card interviews, thus making legal representation crucial.

Special Immigrant Green Card Interviews

Asylum seekers, refugees, victims of human trafficking, and other vulnerable immigrants tend to be interviewed at various times before they can establish a stable and legal presence in the U.S. Legal representation at these interviews can go a long way toward making sure adjudicators aren’t issuing rubber stamp denials based on the political climate and that they follow laws and regulations that have been hastily implemented in response to specific situations. Special immigration programs can also change from one interview to the next, thus making the presence of legal professionals even more vital.

If you’re expecting to be interviewed for an immigration matter or you’ve already been interviewed and need advice about what steps to take next, reach out to the caring, experienced San Diego immigration attorneys at KS Visa Law. From green cards to family immigration to naturalization, we can address all your immigration-related needs. Call us today at 858-874-0711 to schedule an appointment.

December 2023