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Don't Wait for the Notice to Prepare for Interview

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How much notice will I have of a USCIS interview? Hi, I'm Jim hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States out of our offices in St. Louis, San Diego, and Washington DC. When you file for those immigration benefits, you file for that green card, you file for asylum, you file for citizenship, the one thing people want to know is, "Jim, when is my interview going to be?" They really get frustrated and they really get wondering, "How much time am I going to have to get ready?" And the thing is sometimes you have a lot of time. Sometimes you have very little time at all. So if you go ahead and register for the electronic alerts with the USCIS website when you get your receipt numbers back, oftentimes they will send you an email or an alert that your case is ready for interview, or is ready to be scheduled for an interview, or that an interview notice has been set.

So that's really, really important, because that's really, when you need to start digging in and diving in to make your case as strong as possible. That's where you really need to start getting ready for your interview. Now, there's no rule that says you have to wait for that electronic alert. There's also no rule that says you have to wait for the paper notice. You can be getting ready as soon as you file your case. So what do I mean by that? Well, you can always be developing more marital evidence, you can always be practicing for your naturalization exam a little bit harder, you can always be following what's going on in your home country if you're filing for asylum. These are the kinds of things that you should be doing while your case is pending.

You might as well use that time between when you file and when you have your interview to your advantage. Instead of spending all your time, wondering and banging your head on the wall, "When is USCIS going to schedule me," why not spend your time making your case stronger? So that's really the mindset that you need to have when you're getting ready for your interview and when you're waiting for that notice. So timing wise, you usually get an electronic notice and then you get your paper notice.

Now your paper notice will typically give you about four or five or six weeks before your interview. That's what we're seeing lately, certainly with green card interviews. Naturalization, maybe it's even a little bit quicker. It depends on the field office. And don't forget, there also might be a long gap between when the electronic alert comes out and when the paper notice comes, and then after the paper notice it's going to be three or four weeks. So those electronic alerts are helpful, especially if you have to do anything like get a medical exam taken care of for your green card. So you really want to be on top of things, you really want to be paying attention.

And then the last topic I want to talk about is, "Well, what happens, Jim, if I get very little notice, very little notice?" So I would say that you need to do everything you can to be ready. This is again, another reason why you need to be getting ready as soon as you file your case. And this is why you need to spend time making sure that you know your case inside and out. If it's a marriage case, you have to know all the facts about each other. You have to know everything about your marriage and your relationship. If it's a citizenship case, you need to know all your travel, all your taxes, whether you have any problems with good moral character. You need to be working on that stuff all along. In other words, don't wait for the notice to get ready. That's what I'm trying to say. That's probably what I should have said at the beginning, and maybe I'll make that the title of this video.

But we hope you found it helpful. If you have questions about an upcoming interview, give us a call, 314-961-8200. You can email us, [email protected]. Be sure to join us in our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home. If you liked this video, we ask that you please share it out on social and you subscribe to our YouTube channel so that you get updates whenever we make videos just like this one. Thanks a lot and have a great day.

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