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Can I Believe Officer if They Say Everything Looks Good

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If an immigration officer says everything's okay with my case, can I believe them? Hi, I'm Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our office here in St. Louis, Missouri. I love talking about that. We do practice immigration law all around the country and that's the fun thing about having a federal practice. But anyway, today we're talking about situations where someone has an interview at USCIS even at the State Department and the government official says, "Man, everything looks okay, we'll let you know." And the question is, can you rely on that? And I suppose in a way that you can maybe it makes you feel better.

And it's interesting because I practiced with my wife, Amany, and we also have a different approach to things. She loves to try to get the officer to say what exactly is going on with the case. I let it go. I didn't really push those things because to me, nothing matters until you actually get the green card or nothing matters until you actually have your oath ceremony. So I don't really believe them when they say that everything's okay. Now, I don't think they're lying. I just think that generally they're looking around at what they just talked to you about. Obviously, they don't have any more questions or the interview would be over and they'll say things like, "Oh, I have to run it past my supervisor," or, "Everything looks okay, I'll let you know."

I was in an interview last Monday and the officer said, "Well, I might have to do a couple of things. I'm not sure what's going to happen." And then an hour later he approved the case. So it's interesting. I don't think he put too much stock in what they say. I suppose there's value in asking. But a lot of times it's out of their control. They have to run it past the supervisor. They're under orders to try to deny more cases now.

And my understanding is that if there's any kind of criminal history that those cases have to go to a supervisor. So there are a lot of moving parts at the immigration office and you can't just rely on the end of your conversation where the officer's standing up and trying to get you out of their office where you just say, "Oh well, they said everything looked good, so I think I'm fine." You need to keep thinking about your case. You need to keep being ready to supply more information if you need to and you can't really rely on it. I hope it makes you feel better, but it's not really anything that you can take to the bank.

And sometimes I'll have people that I consult with on lawsuits who've been waiting two or three years and they said, "Jim, I really don't understand. The officer said everything was fine with my case." Well, a lot of times that can even mean that the officer was new, didn't know what they were doing, or that they'd run such a quick interview that they weren't thorough and now your case is on the shelf because they're not sure what to do and that when we Sue them then we find out that they probably didn't do a very thorough interview and they started asking for more stuff.

So long and short is, go ahead and ask the officer if you want, if you feel uncomfortable, if you feel like you have a good rapport with him, I don't like to bother them with it. I don't put much stock in what they say. But that's why I practice with my wife. She's a lot smarter than I am and she also is a very good lawyer and she gets good results. So maybe I'm wrong, but I've given you both sides of the story. You pick what you want to do and we hope you found this video helpful.

If you have any questions about interviews at USCIS or at the State Department, or if you have anything else you want to ask us, give us a call 314-961-8200. You can email us at [email protected]. Be sure to join us in our Facebook group. That group is called Immigrant Home and we'd love to have you in there with us. We have a lot of people in there. Well over a thousand people in there, and there's a good immigration discussion going on all the time. And then if you want to subscribe to our YouTube channel, you'll get video updates just like this one. And if you have any questions or ideas for videos, shoot us an email like I said, at [email protected], or just leave us a comment wherever you're watching this video and we'll add it to our queue. Thanks a lot. Have a great day.

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