Jump to content
Hemutian

Is the petitioner allowed to help translate for the beneficiary during POE interview?

16 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

I'll be flying from Guangzhou to SFO with my fiancee (beneficiary) next month.

I've read several reviews of the SFO POE process on VJ and almost everyone says it's a breeze.

It seems that sometimes, there is no POE "interview" (i.e. questions) at all. But sometimes there is. Which brings me to my question.

My fiancee's English level is elementary at best (for now, she plans to get to work increasing her fluency as soon as possible) and she's nervous that

she won't be able to understand or answer the questions at the POE interview (assuming there is one). 

This wasn't an issue at the Guangzhou consulate interview because the CO there was able to bring in his Chinese assistants to help translate.

But we're not sure if the SFO POE has Chinese-speaking staff (to be fair, if any US POE did have Chinese-speaking staff, it would be SFO).

Since I'll be with her, am I allowed to translate the CBP officer's questions to her from English to Chinese, and then translate her answers from Chinese back to English for the CBP officer?

They're not going to give her a hard time over this, are they?

Or would it be better to try to coach her on how to anticipate and answer the CBP's questions in English before we fly to SFO?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Hemutian said:

My fiancee's English level is elementary at best (for now, she plans to get to work increasing her fluency as soon as possible) and she's nervous that

she won't be able to understand or answer the questions at the POE interview (assuming there is one). 

Every single day, there are many thousand new immigrants landed in the US. Many of them do NOT speak a word of English and they got through just fine. The US CBP is extremely well trained in deal with this very situation. If my in-laws who were in their late 60s, early 70s and my own mother who was 63 could do it, there is no reason your fiancé can’t.

 

13 minutes ago, Hemutian said:

But we're not sure if the SFO POE has Chinese-speaking staff

Oh please. There have been Chinese people in San Francisco for what, 200 years? 

 

41 minutes ago, Hemutian said:

Since I'll be with her, am I allowed to translate the CBP officer's questions to her from English to Chinese, and then translate her answers from Chinese back to English for the CBP officer?

Yes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, USS_Voyager said:

Oh please. There have been Chinese people in San Francisco for what, 200 years? 

I know. I grew up in San Francisco, went on field trips as a kid to Angel Island. I even majored in history, specifically the history of immigration to the United States. There are many Chinese-speaking people in San Francisco, but I've never gone through a POE interview with a Chinese native speaker before, so how am I supposed to know if CBP employs Chinese speakers at the airport or not. 

 

I've seen Chinese TV shows and movies that depict Chinese people arriving in the US, and facing situations at the POE where the CBP officer expects the Chinese person to speak English, and is hostile to the Chinese person if their English is less than perfect, even threatening to send them back to China. I realize this is just TV and not real life, but so far since I've never gone through the process in real life. 

 

The main gist of my question was: when I accompany her at the POE, will the CBP officer consider it interference if I'm in there helping her do the talking, in other words, should I keep my mouth shut and let her do the talking and request a Chinese-speaking CBP officer if necessary, or is it okay if I speak up during the process. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Hemutian said:

I know. I grew up in San Francisco, went on field trips as a kid to Angel Island. I even majored in history, specifically the history of immigration to the United States. There are many Chinese-speaking people in San Francisco, but I've never gone through a POE interview with a Chinese native speaker before, so how am I supposed to know if CBP employs Chinese speakers at the airport or not. 

 

I've seen Chinese TV shows and movies that depict Chinese people arriving in the US, and facing situations at the POE where the CBP officer expects the Chinese person to speak English, and is hostile to the Chinese person if their English is less than perfect, even threatening to send them back to China. I realize this is just TV and not real life, but so far since I've never gone through the process in real life. 

 

The main gist of my question was: when I accompany her at the POE, will the CBP officer consider it interference if I'm in there helping her do the talking, in other words, should I keep my mouth shut and let her do the talking and request a Chinese-speaking CBP officer if necessary, or is it okay if I speak up during the process. 

The CBP officer may or may not shoo you back into the line if you both walk up to the booth together.  If he does let you stand there, don't attempt to answer any questions directed to her without first asking the officer "would you like me to translate?" or "would you like me to answer that?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

2 hours ago, Falcon Cara said:

POE interview?  About all they asked my fiancée was: How are you?

Like I wrote at the beginning of this thread "It seems that sometimes, there is no POE "interview" (i.e. questions) at all. But sometimes there is."

A bunch of VJers have written "POE reviews" and some of them definitely got interviewed, so we just want to make sure we're prepared in case we do, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just went through POE with my spouse, entering the US for the first time on his CR-1 spousal visa, in Miami, a week ago.  I entered with him and told the CBP officer that he was entering on a spousal visa.  He sent us to secondary processing where we waited for about 10 minutes for an officer.  We both went to the window when his name was called and he gave the officer his passport.  She asked where the envelope was and I said that he did not receive an envelope with the visa, that his file was all electronic.  She responded, "okay, I'll bring that up on my computer," then took a few minutes to do that.  My husband gave her a piece of paper with his new address in the US, a home I bought two months ago, after his visa interview at the consulate abroad.  A few minutes later she stamped his passport and sent us on our way.  It was pretty simple and it was never an issue that I was speaking on his behalf since his English is not very good and the officer did not speak Portuguese.  You will be fine!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If a Chinese translator is needed at SFO, I shouldn't think that ir would be a problem for Madarin or Cantonese. Now some of the dialects spoken in the semi-autonomous zones in the south, such as, Hakkanese, may pose a surmountable situation.

 

YMMV


Completed: K1/K2 (271 days) - AOS/EAD/AP (134 days) - ROC (279 days)

"Si vis amari, ama" - Seneca

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, carmel34 said:

I just went through POE with my spouse, entering the US for the first time on his CR-1 spousal visa, in Miami, a week ago.  I entered with him and told the CBP officer that he was entering on a spousal visa.  He sent us to secondary processing where we waited for about 10 minutes for an officer.  We both went to the window when his name was called and he gave the officer his passport.  She asked where the envelope was and I said that he did not receive an envelope with the visa, that his file was all electronic.  She responded, "okay, I'll bring that up on my computer," then took a few minutes to do that.  My husband gave her a piece of paper with his new address in the US, a home I bought two months ago, after his visa interview at the consulate abroad.  A few minutes later she stamped his passport and sent us on our way.  It was pretty simple and it was never an issue that I was speaking on his behalf since his English is not very good and the officer did not speak Portuguese.  You will be fine!

Thanks. And congratulations!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/28/2019 at 7:18 AM, Pitaya said:

If a Chinese translator is needed at SFO, I shouldn't think that ir would be a problem for Madarin or Cantonese. Now some of the dialects spoken in the semi-autonomous zones in the south, such as, Hakkanese, may pose a surmountable situation.

 

YMMV

Mine does in fact speak Hakkanese. But she also speaks Mandarin. And Cantonese. So shouldn't be a problem.

Now let's just try to get English added to that list.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At my fiancée's POE, the officer asked me more questions than he did her.  I answered in both English and Spanish.

 


Spoiler

 

K1

I-129F Sent: 3/1/19

CSC Received: 3/7/19

NOA1: 3/12/19

NOA2: 5/30/19 (No RFE

NVC Received: 6/21/19

Case Number Assigned: 6/22/19

NVC Left: 7/9/19

Consulate Received: 7/11/19

Interview: 8/15/19

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Ask our VJ Immigration Lawyers.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
- Back to Top -


Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.
×
×
  • Create New...