Does USCIS know when you lie during an interview?

One of yesterday’s visitors to our website arrived there after typing in this Google query:

Does USCIS know when you are lying during an interview?

I thought this was a very interesting question.  It sort of makes you wonder about the person asking it.  Were they thinking of lying in an interview?  Had they already lied in an interview?  Did they get caught lying?

The simple answer, of course, is that it is impossible to know whether USCIS knows if an applicant for a green card or for naturalization is lying to them.  The safe assumption is that they DO know everything about you and that, if you lie in the interview, you will be caught.

Truthfulness is an interesting issue at immigration.  Some times, people lie about things that – had they just been truthful – would not have been that big of a deal.  This is true for politicians just as much as its true for people seeking an immigration benefit.  I have had situations at the St. Louis sub-office where the officer asked a question to which they already knew the answer just to see how the applicant would respond.  I’ve had officers chide applicants before they answer and remind them that they are under oath.

The best course of action is to always tell the truth.  Do not ever lie to the immigration service.  Lack of truthfulness can be fatal to your case.  It can also lead to deportation.  If you are going to an interview, you should assume that it is being recorded and that the immigration service knows more about you than you think.  Don’t be foolish as no immigration benefit is worth lying about.

Many times, people lie because they are worried or troubled by a certain aspect of their case.  Talking the issue through with an experienced, qualified immigration attorney ahead of time can dispel those concerns and help the applicant work towards answering the question truthfully and effectively.