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A Tale of 2 Immigrants

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Hi. I'm Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer, practicing law throughout the United States at our offices in St. Louis, Missouri, San Diego, California, and Washington, D.C. In today's video, we're going to do things a little bit differently. Instead of viewing the case from the point of view of you, the immigrant, I'm going to ask you to look at the case from the point of view of the immigration officer or the counselor official.

Let's say that on this day, you're at work. You're a bureaucrat. You've been working for USCIS for several years. You sort of feel like you know what's going on. You know how to process cases. Let's say that you have an interview at 8:30 in the morning and one at 9:30 in the morning.

You go into your first interview at 8:30. Neither the 8:30 nor the 9:30 interviews have a lawyer. We're going to level the playing field. Nobody has a lawyer. You meet with the first couple. It's a spouse-based marriage case. They both are, the 8:30 and the 9:30 are both spouse-based marriage cases. There's a foreign national trying to get lawful permanent residence due to their good faith marriage to a US citizen.

You go in and you meet with the first couple. They come in. They're a half hour early. They're well-dressed. They're clean. They're organized. They have all their documents set out in front of them. Everything's put together well. They've submitted lots of evidence of the marriage, lots of documentation that they have a shared life together, lots of evidence to show that they didn't just get married to get an immigration benefit, but rather to get a green card for the foreign national so they can begin their life together. This is just sort of one thing in their life. They needed to check the box, get the immigration part squared away. But they look the officer in the eye, they're very direct, their answers are succinct and clear and consistent. It by all means appears to you, the officer, that everything is legitimate. That's your 8:30 appointment.

Then at 9:30, you go out at 9:30, you call the name of Mr and Mrs. Smith. "Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Mr. and Mrs. Smith." They're not there. You come out five minutes later. They're late. They're coming in. They're all straggly. They've got all their stuff. They're just sort of discombobulated because they just came through security. They know they're running late. They're sort of huffing and puffing and they're all stressed out. You tell them, "Mr. and Mrs. Smith, settled down. I'll be out to get you in five more minutes." Now you're running behind. As well as your 8:30 interview went, now you've got these people who appear to be a little bit discombobulated, a little bit disorganized.

They come in. You bring them into your office and they don't have much evidence. The forms that they submitted originally have a few mistakes with them. They forgot to bring their medical exam results. They have just a few pictures with each other. They have very little marital evidence to show that they have a shared life. They might've lived apart at some point, or they might have not had a lot of affidavits or letters of support from friends. You're just wondering, is this thing even real?

We bust a lot on these videos on USCIS, but you can see just by this one officer's 8:30, 9:30 morning, one day at work, what the difference is between the two cases. I think it's really important to think that through. It's really important. Do you want to be like the 8:30 appointment or do you want to be like the 9:30 appointment? My vote is that you're like the 8:30 appointment.

I think a lawyer can help you get much closer to what the 8:30 clients or the 8:30 applicants experienced. You don't want to be the one on the receiving end of that 9:30 one, because then they get suspicious. Then they separate you. Then they refer your case over to the fraud unit. Then the fraud unit shows up at your house unexpectedly six weeks later at 5:00 in the morning. Your case is delayed and it might even be denied.

This is the tale of the two clients. This is the tale of the two immigrants. This is how you can see the difference between the two cases. I haven't said anything about a lawyer other than the fact that I think a lawyer can do a better job of getting you ready to be like the 8:30 clients. But you can see from the point of view of this officer who not only has an 8:30 and a 9:30, but has appointments at 10:30, 11:30, 1:30, 2:30. This is their day. That's what it looks like. That's what they're seeing every day.

One of the things about being an immigration lawyer or being involved in immigration is it's a real character study. It's amazing how different clients are in the way that they handle things. It's really an interesting look into people, because people are very different. Some people are organized and some people aren't. From an immigration officer's standpoint, they're trying to figure out if your marriage is real. Don't hand them the things that they need to deny you. Hand them the things that they need to approve you. That should be your goal. You want to be that 8:30 interview.

If you want our help filing the strongest case possible and to get you ready for your interview, you should give us a call at (314) 961-8200. You can email us at [email protected]. Be sure to join us in our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home. If you like this video, we ask that you please share it out on social and that you subscribe to our YouTube channel so that you get updates whenever we make videos just like this one. Then on Tuesdays and Thursdays, usually at noon central, you'll find us in our YouTube channel and on our Facebook group answering as many of your immigration law related questions as possible. Thanks a lot and have a great day.

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