Representing Clients All Over the U.S.
Attorney at Your CIS Interview

Wondering if you should go to your USCIS interview to decide your green card with an attorney or on your own? 

Going in alone is usually not a good idea. Here’s why:

It’s your word against the officer as to what is said and happens in that interview.

  • If your job is on the line (you have an employment-based adjustment based on an I-140 or labor cert), you could be asked a lot of intricate questions and not know where it crosses the line. Similarly, how personal can an officer get with you and your spouse if you go in alone?

Officers screw up and sometimes get the law wrong and can screw up your case or your chances.

  • Having an attorney present to educate the officer and make sure the law is being followed and that extra documentation or irrelevant documentation being asked for or the wrong law is being followed can be avoided in many circumstances. This makes your case come to a potential favorable resolution must faster and without risk to having to fight a needless request for further evidence, notice of intent to deny, or appeal a wrongly-issued denial or incur more USCIS filing fees for having to file needless cases or refile.
  • We’ve heard horror stories of immigrants who have been told by the officer that the immigrant has a choice between having the case denied or withdrawing it, arguing to the immigrant that a withdrawal which won’t look “as bad” and the immigrant can always refile when eligible. Then the immigrant comes to us for help. The problem with a withdrawal, though, is it is a voluntary or “willing” act. You can’t  blame an officer for forcing you into a withdrawal (which you can’t prove) and in the long run, you may have lost months, if not a year or more, in having to refile a case because the officer had been applying the wrong law and should not have given you that impossible choice to make at your interview. 

The officer you get may be new, unfamiliar with your kind of case, just going through training, or filling in for an officer who usually handles your type of case.

  • When this happens, you often are asked more than what is required, the officer creates long interview sessions, doesn’t know what to ask which could result in a second interview or referral to the fraud unit for a home or employer raid/investigation. This just delays your case by months, sometimes years if the case gets referred to FDNS or investigations for potential fraud. 
  • Especially with employment-based adjustment cases, which have traditionally been approved in the mail, without interview at the local USCIS field office, most officers have never done an employment-based interview and often harp on the family relationship or ask for more than what’s necessary from the employee and sponsoring employer because the officer is used to dealing with family cases and doesn’t know quite what to ask. 


A competent, experienced immigration attorney can also prep you for and help you navigate through complicated legal issues at the interview increasing your odds of getting the outcome you need for your particular case.

  • For instance, if you have an employment adjustment case, the officer is going to want you to make sure that you have no NIV status violations or unlawful presence issues to allow you to adjust and could look at your employer’s ability to pay documents closely and have you justify a change of employer under your same I-485 when you had your I-140 approved under another employer and try to find any issue that could potentially stop you from obtaining your green card. Maybe you have a relative who is out of status but will want to follow to join your I-140/485 and needs to survive the main immigrant’s interview as their spouse without being detained by ICE due to the overstay. Is this something you feel confident explaining to a CIS officer and asking for lenience? 
  • In the family context, what if the Immigrant Visa (I-130) case that you expected to be routed to the consulate was actually routed to the local field office for interview and your undocumented spouse must show up with you at the interview, exposing himself to ICE, in order to have the Immigrant Visa approved to continue with consular processing so he can eventually file a waiver? Would you know what to do if ICE is called into the interview and wants to detain your spouse? 

The fact is there are many reasons beyond these why an attorney can be an asset to you in this critical moment in your case.  You have a lot on the line with your green card interview. Not only can a competent, experienced immigration attorney help you prepare for the interview but help get you through it, in case the worst case scenario arises. An immigration attorney with years of experience handling these interviews knows the procedure, the timeline, follow up involved, and what is normal and what to expect and can help you identify red flags to help you gain even more out of your representation and get you to your goal of becoming a permanent resident (green card holder).

Contact us today to discuss your particular needs of your case and whether we think you could benefit from one of our attorneys being by your side at your interview. Call for a case evaluation appointment at 877.486.2678 or book online here.

Attorney in-person representation available for adjustment of status interviews, conditional green card interviews, conditional green card waiver interviews, naturalization interviews, employment-based green card interviews, family-based green card interviews, marriage green card interviews, and more.