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LT.Nora

Lawyer at the interview

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Hi everybody,

My question is about lawyers..

A little background: I overstayed my B1/B2 visa by about a year until I applied for AOS (based on marriage). I thought my case was complicated (now I don't think so anymore after becoming a member at VJ - YEY VJ!), so back then (last year) I hired a lawyer to prepare all the papers for AOS. Now my interview date is coming closer and I start thinking that maybe I don't want my lawyer to attend the interview with me (included in the initial fee).

I have quite a bit of evidence for bona fide marriage - we had small but very expensive wedding (receipts, engagement ring certificate), bills together, bank accounts together, lease together, pictures etc. I am quite confident with it.

MY QUESTION IS: Does it make a difference if a lawyer attends the interview with you or not? I don't want IO to think that I have something to hide so I have a lawyer to cover myself. Or that IO would decide to grill us just a little bit more, since the lawyer is there?

I am getting more and more stressed out about the interview and I think being with my husband in the room with IO (who will decide my destiny) is overwhelming enough and having an observing fourth person is too much!

Your thoughts, Please! :)


02/12/2010 - Sent AOS package to Chicago Lockbox

02/23/2010 - NOA received for I-485, I-130 and I-765 (Day 11)

03/05/2010 - letter of appointment for Biometrics received (Day 22)

03/05/2010 - I-130 touched. (Day 22)

03/18/2010 - Biometrics taken! (Day 35)

03/19/2010 - I-485 and I-765 Touched. (Day 36)

04/08/2010 - Interview letter received (Day 56)

05/05/2010 - Touch on I-485 (Day 83)

05/06/2010 - Touch on I-130 (Day 84)

05/06/2010 - EAD Card production ordered!

05/21/2010 - Interview @ 8.50AM (Day 99)

05/21/2010 - INTERVIEW APPROVED! (Day 99)

05/24/2010 - Touch on I-485 and I-130(Day 102)

05/24/2010 - Card Production Ordered on May 21!! (Day 102)

05/26/2010 - Card Production Ordered AGAIN. Mhm... (Day 104)

05/26/2010 - EAD Received! (Day 104)

05/27/2010 - I-130 Approval notice and Green Card Welcome Letter received (Day 105)

06/18/2010 - Green Card RECEIVED!!!

06/22/2010 - Applied for SSN

06/30/2010 - SSN received!!

06/30/2010 - Applied for DL...

07/24/2010 - DL and ID Received!!!

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Australia
Timeline

My PERSONAL opinion is I think a lawyer would complicate things but then I could be basing this view on my personal situation which is a lot easier than AOS'ing in your manner.

As the fee has already been paid, and knowing the risks if you are denied (I doubt you will be but none of us know what mood the IO will be in) and knowing that AOS'ing this way is slightly risker than doing it from my type of visa (k1) then I think I would have him along anyway.

i really think most of it is about how YOU are acting, and if you go in looking nervous and always looking at your lawyer, it looks suspicious. If you go in smiling and happy and talk to your lawyer beforehand about allowing you to answer any questions unless he thinks it sounds like a trick or something, and have him read over anything you sign (someone once signed a deportation order without realising what it was... though he didn't speak the best English...) then it won't look suspicious.. instead it might look like you're taking the process seriously and willing to spend money on a lawyer THAT'S how legit your relationship is... Not that those who don't DON'T look legit, I'm just saying who knows what they think.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Romania
Timeline

Your case is pretty straight forward. Be confident in yourself and go without a lawyer. Most of the questions are marriage related and only you know the answers. Go with your spouse over the most important events in your life-wedding, Christmas, your birthdays, I mean what did you guys do on those days and it will be just fine!!!


My N-400 Journey

06-02-2017 - N-400 package mailed to Dallas Lockbox

06-06-2017 - Credit card charged; received text and email confirming that application was received and NOA is on its way

06-10-2017 - Received NOA letter from NBC dated 06-05-2017

06-16-2017 - Received Biometrics Appointment Letter for 06-28-2017

01-19-2018 - Interview Letter sent

02-27-18 - Interview and Oath Ceremony. Finally US CITIZEN! 

My ROC Journey

03-08-2012 - I-751 package mailed to VSC

03-10-2012 - I-751 package delivered

03-14-2012 - Check cashed

03-15-2012 - NOA received, dated 03-12-2012

04-27-2012 - Biometrics appointment

11-23-2012 - ROC approved

11-28-2012 - Approval letter received

12-06-2012 - 10 years Green Card received

My AOS Journey

04-17-09 I-130&I-485&I-765 received by USCIS

04-19-10 AOS Approved

04-29-10 Green Card received

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Anytime an immigrant is in a DHS building for a decision making process is a good time to have a knowledgeable qualified attorney on board.


Our journey together on this earth has come to an end.

I will see you one day again, my love.

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Having an attorney at the interview is a double edged sword. While, yes it will boost your confidence to have an attorney on your side and also keep the IO in line, but an attorney who doesnt prepare you for the interview, interrupts the interview or distracts the IO can be a pain and may even cause a denial.

If I had an attorney present at the interview, I would just ask him to keep his mouth shut and smile the whole time. He will also hold all the documents in his possession and submit them when asked. One attorney told me he would charge me $800 just for him to appear at the interview.


04/02/2010: AOS I-130, I-485 and I-765 mailed by UPS 2nd Day Air

04/06/2010: Delivered, Signed by Chiba (Day 1)

04/13/2010: Checks cashed, NOAs received via email and text (Day 7)

04/19/2010: Hard NOAs for I-130, I-485 and I-765 received (Day 13)

04/23/2010: Biometrics Appointment received (Day 17)

05/04/2010: RFE for I-864 received (Day 28)

05/06/2010: RFE for I-864 mailed back (Day 30)

05/12/2010: Case processing resumed (Day 36)

05/14/2010: Biometrics Appointment, I-485 and I-765 touched (Day 38)

05/17/2010: I-485 and I-765 touched (Day 41)

06/08/2010: EAD card production ordered (Day 63)

06/19/2010: EAD card received (Day 74)

07/02/2010: Interview letter received (Day 87)

08/04/2010: Interview (Day 120)==> Approved!!. Card Production Ordered text received

08/21/2010: Greencard received (Day 137)

Eligible for ROC: 05/04/2012

Eligible for Naturalization: 08/04/2013

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Thank you guys for answers - so far mixed opinions :)

My lawyer has been immigration lawyer for 30+ years and was rated Super Lawyer 5 years in a row in the Los Angeles area. So I have no doubt that she will definitely know what to do and how to put herself at the interview. And me and my husband will have a meeting with her next week when she will prepare us for the interview.

So far I read feedback from people who went to the interview without a lawyer and for those who were well prepared it seemed like it went quite well or rather very easy. I haven't seen any feedback from people who went to the interview with a lawyer, so I have nothing to compare it with.


02/12/2010 - Sent AOS package to Chicago Lockbox

02/23/2010 - NOA received for I-485, I-130 and I-765 (Day 11)

03/05/2010 - letter of appointment for Biometrics received (Day 22)

03/05/2010 - I-130 touched. (Day 22)

03/18/2010 - Biometrics taken! (Day 35)

03/19/2010 - I-485 and I-765 Touched. (Day 36)

04/08/2010 - Interview letter received (Day 56)

05/05/2010 - Touch on I-485 (Day 83)

05/06/2010 - Touch on I-130 (Day 84)

05/06/2010 - EAD Card production ordered!

05/21/2010 - Interview @ 8.50AM (Day 99)

05/21/2010 - INTERVIEW APPROVED! (Day 99)

05/24/2010 - Touch on I-485 and I-130(Day 102)

05/24/2010 - Card Production Ordered on May 21!! (Day 102)

05/26/2010 - Card Production Ordered AGAIN. Mhm... (Day 104)

05/26/2010 - EAD Received! (Day 104)

05/27/2010 - I-130 Approval notice and Green Card Welcome Letter received (Day 105)

06/18/2010 - Green Card RECEIVED!!!

06/22/2010 - Applied for SSN

06/30/2010 - SSN received!!

06/30/2010 - Applied for DL...

07/24/2010 - DL and ID Received!!!

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada
Timeline

If the lawyer's already paid for, go for it. I thought having a lawyer there made us seem like we took it seriously and I personally felt comforted having her in the room, thinking the immigration officer would be reasonable. In hindsight, our interview was super easy and I don't think she had to say a word. I was still glad to have her there, though, and would do it again. She also did a couple "practice interviews" with us, which made me much less nervous about the real thing.


AOS (from tourist w/overstay)

1/26/10 - NOA

5/04/10 - interview appt - approved

ROC

2/06/12 - NOA date

7/31/12 - card production ordered

N-400

2/08/13 - NOA date

3/05/13 - biometrics appt

6/18/13 - interview - passed!

7/18/13 - oath ceremony

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Pakistan
Timeline

Will say what has has aleady been said. If the lawyer is already paid for, then make him/her earn the fee. Do take the lawyer to the interview. But personally, i think if you can read and write, and your case is legit, one should never waste money on lawyers. They complicate things rather than help you and hey, frankly, this is one profession that feeds off of others miseries. If you had not mentioned an over-stay on a B-1/B-2, I would have suggested to go without one, but I think in this case, it would be advisable to have him by your side.

Good Luck.


IR5 For Parent

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Ireland
Timeline

I'd take the lawyer, just for the heck of it. Like the others said, you already paid the fee so you may as well put him/her to work. :D Just make sure the lawyer knows you guys are comfortable doing the talking, and (s)he's just there for back-up.

When we went to the interview, most of the other people there had lawyers, translators or both. It didn't speed up the process, we all got called in the order we submitted our names, but I think it definitely gave some people there a confidence boost to have the attorney going over their documents with them while they waited and talking them through the process.

Don't worry that they'll refuse you because you have a lawyer. I'm sure the IO makes a decision based on the contents of your file and the way you both present yourselves, not on whether or not you have legal representation. They see so many people every day, they probably just have a system of their own going for them that they run through whether or not the couple is accompanied by anyone else. :)


4OvIp1.png

kCtMp1.png

Sept. 6th - Arrived for 3 months to stay with my boyfriend

Nov. 21st - Got married!

February 12th - Mailed paperwork

February 25th - Checks cashed

February 26th - NOAs received

March 4th - Touched! AP, I-130, I-765

March 11th - Received Biometrics appt for 24/03/10

March 12th - Walk in Biometrics completed!

March 15th - Touched. I-765, I-485

March 24th Original Biometrics appt date

March 26th - Received Interview Date for April 27th

April 23rd - Touched!

April 26th - AP approved, EAD approved, card production ordered

April 27th - Interview - APPROVED!

May 3rd - EAD received in mail

May 6th - Approval notices for I-130 and I-485 received

May 11th - Card production ordered

June 1st - GC finally received!

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Filed: Other Timeline

Somebody threatened your life. You hire a bodyguard for a week. After 5 days you feel safe again, yet you have to go to an important event across town. Do you take your already-paid-for bodyguard with you or do you leave him home, hoping nothing bad will happen to you?

What I am trying to say is this: HAVE YOU TOTALLY LOST IT? (IT = common sense.)

Having a lawyer with you is the best thing you can do. Even though mine did not say much, his mere presence assured respectful treatment and made sure that I won't do anything stupid and get myself in trouble!


There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all . . . . The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic . . . . There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.

President Teddy Roosevelt on Columbus Day 1915

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Thanks guys for replies!

I think I might have lost it :rofl::bonk:

The stress is getting on me :)

I will take her with me then, but tell her not to talk unless necessary :)


02/12/2010 - Sent AOS package to Chicago Lockbox

02/23/2010 - NOA received for I-485, I-130 and I-765 (Day 11)

03/05/2010 - letter of appointment for Biometrics received (Day 22)

03/05/2010 - I-130 touched. (Day 22)

03/18/2010 - Biometrics taken! (Day 35)

03/19/2010 - I-485 and I-765 Touched. (Day 36)

04/08/2010 - Interview letter received (Day 56)

05/05/2010 - Touch on I-485 (Day 83)

05/06/2010 - Touch on I-130 (Day 84)

05/06/2010 - EAD Card production ordered!

05/21/2010 - Interview @ 8.50AM (Day 99)

05/21/2010 - INTERVIEW APPROVED! (Day 99)

05/24/2010 - Touch on I-485 and I-130(Day 102)

05/24/2010 - Card Production Ordered on May 21!! (Day 102)

05/26/2010 - Card Production Ordered AGAIN. Mhm... (Day 104)

05/26/2010 - EAD Received! (Day 104)

05/27/2010 - I-130 Approval notice and Green Card Welcome Letter received (Day 105)

06/18/2010 - Green Card RECEIVED!!!

06/22/2010 - Applied for SSN

06/30/2010 - SSN received!!

06/30/2010 - Applied for DL...

07/24/2010 - DL and ID Received!!!

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Venezuela
Timeline

Thanks guys for replies!

I think I might have lost it :rofl::bonk:

The stress is getting on me :)

I will take her with me then, but tell her not to talk unless necessary :)

I was also an overstay from an L2 visa. I did hire a lawyer to go with me to the interview, just so me and my husband will feel better. It is your right to hire a lawyer if you so desire, and the IO can not take it in a negative manner. It is a plus to know that if you somehow do not understand something or are unsure of the process the lawyer will be there to help you. A well trained immigration attorney will know how to behave during an interview and they know not to talk when its not necessary, after all it is their jobs. If I was in your shoes I will definitely take the lawyer with you. I do not regret taking mine with me and it was because of him that I got the residency stamp at the interview.

Good luck!

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada
Timeline

If you have payed for the lawyer already, definitly bring her with you.

I am just one of the people to add on the list. I payed for a package deal with a experienced immigration lawyer, if only so I do not die of a panic attack. I agree, maybe I could have done all the paperwork myself and yes the interview lasted just 15 min... But having the lawyer with us made me feel more secured. I know that however the USCIS person that would interview us would feel that day, we had someone on our side that could prep us before the interview and could also interject if something was not working as planned.

I was worried for intent on a TN visa. Never came up. But even after looking back at things, my peace of mind was worth the money I put into that process. If you trust the expertise of your lawyer, you have nothing to loose bringing her along.


2006 to 2010 - Working on TN status
09/26/2009 - Wedding
02/16/2010 - Green Card in hand!
02/12/2012 - ROC Done, Green Card Received

09/15/2015 - Naturalization Ceremony

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