Do You Need a Lawyer for a Naturalization (Citizenship) Interview?

This is Immigration Attorney Parviz Malakouti. I got a call yesterday from an individual asking me a question which I get very often, which is: what is the role of an attorney in a naturalization interview? I think it’s a good question and I’m going to answer that question in this video. First of all, if you have applied for naturalization, and you are scheduled for an interview, if you’re thinking about hiring an attorney You should know that the role of an attorney is to perform primarily five duties, in my opinion. The first is to prepare the applicant for the interview. Preparing them for the interview basically means making sure that they know all the answers that are in their application and specifically paying a little bit more attention to the portions of the application that could be a little bit problematic or cause some obstacle at the interview. The second role of the attorney is to assist in the interview with either a) changing any answers on the naturalization application or b) making sure that the applicant doesn’t give a wrong answer. Applicants give wrong answers all the time. It could be they forgot. It could be because they have nerves or whatever. The applicant has to answer the questions. but the attorney being being there, being present in the room can and should actually step up if they hear their applicant give an answer that they know is not true to a question by USCIS. The second is to make sure that The USCIS officer does not go out of bounds with the questioning either by asking something that is inappropriate or asking something that is outside of the scope of appropriate questions for the USCIS N-400 interview. A lot of times individuals go by themselves, they feel bullied. They may feel like a question being asked it’s not appropriate but they may feel bullied into answering it rather than speaking up and asking for a supervisor and and dealing with that. So that is another role of the attorney. The fourth role of the attorney is to advocate on behalf of the applicant if the applicant has a an aspect of the application which needs a little bit more attention. It might be a little bit tricky. For example, if they have a conviction during the five-year period of good moral character, If they’re applying on the four year and one day rule. Aspects like that that could possibly trip up a USCIS officer or possibly lead to a denial. The attorney is there to basically advocate on behalf of the the applicant and explain the circumstances and explain why the applicant should still be qualified for recommendation for approval at the interview. The last role that an attorney has at a naturalization interview is to keep the applicant calm, to keep them calm and give them confidence to feel good about themselves feel prepared and feel that if they were they stumble or they trip up that they have somebody there in the room in their corner. So those are the five duties that a lawyer should perform at a naturalization interview. I hope this video helps and if you have any questions write them in the comment or feel free to send me an email. Thank you.

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