Passing the citizenship test doesn’t just depend on how well prepared you are. Knowing how to dress correctly for the citizenship interview is something that also has an influence. Just like the way you perform during the test.
For more than 40 years, we have prepared Hispanic immigrants and aliens from other nationalities to succeed in the interview. If you need expert advice, contact our Los Angeles immigration lawyers.
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How To Dress Correctly For The US Citizenship Interview In 2023
The type of clothing you wear to the interview to become a US citizen is more important than what you may think. That is why it is crucial that on the day of the appointment with the USCIS official, you are dressed appropriately.
In this case the old adage that “the habit does not make the monk” is not fulfilled. Furthermore, how you dress for the citizenship interview greatly influences how you will be perceived by the interviewing officer.
- It is key to make a good impression on the immigration officer to make things easier.
- Dressing in sportswear (jeans, t-shirt or shorts) is not exactly the best option.
- For the interview try to wear more elegant and formal clothes.
The way you dress in the citizenship interview is an indicator of respect for the official who attends you. What you wear, a serious haircut and proper grooming, says a lot about you. Not in vain in court when a person is going to be judged dress elegantly.
The process to know how to become a US citizen is described step by step in an article on our blog. There you will find all the requirements and procedures to follow.
What To Bring To The Citizenship Interview?
There is nothing written about how to dress for the citizenship interview. But the truth is that you want to make a good impression. Taking care of the image is always a detail that matters and that any experienced immigration lawyer will recommend.
What you should not lose sight of is what documents to bring on the day of the interview. For no reason forget to have with you:
- Summons letter that USCIS sent you.
- Residence card or Green Card.
- Identification document: California identification card or driver’s license (Real ID).
- Passports. All the ones you’ve had since you became a permanent resident.
It is better that you go alone to the interview. Bringing small children to the appointment could only disrupt the conduct of the interview.
What Other Documents Might Be Requested?
The immigration officer may ask you to submit specific additional documents, depending on your particular case:
- Proof of legitimate marriage and citizenship of the spouse. If you obtained permanent residence by marriage and are applying for naturalization by being married to a citizen:
- Tax returns.
- Joint bank accounts.
- Service payments (water, electricity, internet, gas).
- Birth certificates of children within the marriage.
- Criminal history (arrests, detentions, or convictions). If you have been arrested or convicted of a crime you must submit:
- Police reports.
- Sentences, parole reports, and any other related legal documents.
Are you aware of the criminal bars to citizenship? Find out everything you should know in our blog.
- Evidence of payment of taxes. Tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for the last three or five years, as the case may be. If you have never done so, you should still explain why.
- Selective Military Service test. Men between 18 and 25 years old must submit evidence of being registered.
- Oath of allegiance. If you are unable to take the oath of allegiance provided for by law for religious reasons, you must explain the reasons in writing. A letter from the church you attend may help.
- Evidence of payment of child support. Divorced persons with minor children must submit evidence that they meet this obligation.
Note. All documents you submit to USCIS must be translated into English by an official interpreter.
What Clothes Should I Wear For The Citizenship Interview?
Whether the citizenship interview takes place at a consulate, embassy, or USCIS office, it is important to dress appropriately.
- No need to buy a new suit or shoes.
- Just look in your wardrobe for the most formal clothes you have.
Of course, you should choose clothing that is comfortable, fits you well, and makes you feel safe. This is valid for men and women. It is also more than recommended to go perfumed but without exceeding the amount of fragrance. The same applies for makeup on women.
Clothes, shoes, perfume and makeup are aesthetic resources that help people look better. They are very important because they reaffirm people’s features or hide certain flaws.
Make sure clothes are clean and ironed and shoes polished.
How To Go Dressed To The Citizenship Interview And What Clothes To Wear?
Women could use:
- Dresses, long or knee-length skirts / fitted pants, not too tight.
- Closed formal shoes, low or medium heels with conservative colors (black, blue).
- Small semi-leather or leather handbag.
- Little costume jewelry or jewelry.
Men are suggested to use:
- Suit or formal dress clothes (jacket and long-sleeved shirt, white / blue or any dark color).
- Dark-colored loose-fitting pants, preferably.
- Shiny leather or microfiber shoes with heels.
- Wear classic watches.
- Wear well-groomed and discreet hair.
- Do not wear earrings or piercings in your ears, nose, eyebrows or tongue.
- Wear only what is necessary.
- Men with beards, keep it trimmed or shave if you don’t use it.
- Wear deodorant, trim nails, have fresh breath and clean teeth.
In general, do not wear provocative attire that day that may be considered offensive by the officer in charge.
What Should I Do During The Interview?
Before entering the interview, visualize the moment when the USCIS officer will give you the good news. This will help you feel more confident and focus to achieve this goal.
The interview takes place in a private office with just you and the officer. So greet politely as you enter, and then swear to tell the truth when the officer tells you to.
- Try to stay relaxed and focused on the dialogue.
- Keep your body upright, always demonstrating security (body language).
- Answer only what they ask you, no more and no less, and without rushing.
- If you don’t understand something, ask them to repeat the question.
How To Dress For The Citizenship Ceremony?
The oath of allegiance in the United States is a solemn event that occurs only once in a lifetime. Therefore, you have to give it all the importance it has and a good way to show it is by dressing appropriately.
That day surely the new Americans will want to share the happy moment with their family and friends. During the ceremony, photographs are taken to commemorate the immigrant.
Why Shouldn’t You Wear Jeans To The Naturalization Interview?
There is no written rule that says it is forbidden to wear jeans at the citizenship interview. Nor can it be thought that the immigration officer will base their decision on your citizenship in the fact that you wear or didn’t wear jeans.
But what you should keep in mind at all times is to make a good impression on yourself. So if you’re wearing jeans that are frayed, ripped at the knees, faded from use, or dirty, it will make a negative impression in the first place.
On the other hand, if the blue jeans are new, elegant, and are accompanied by a good shirt or jacket, the situation is different. That is, you have to dress as conservatively as possible with clothes that attract attention, but favorably.
For The Naturalization Ceremony Could I Wear Jeans?
You must not wear jeans to the naturalization ceremony. This is because it is a solemn ceremony and the immigration authorities will not allow it. In the letter that is sent to the new US citizens, it is clearly indicated that they must dress formally.
Moreover, the event takes place in an open space where other people and government representatives will be present. It is best to avoid inconvenience at this last stage of becoming a citizen. Therefore, just dress formally.
What Not To Wear To A Citizenship Interview?
In short, it is recommended not to wear the following on that day:
- Casual / sports clothing that is very tight, dirty, or torn.
- Too much perfume or cologne.
- Very striking hairstyles or wigs.
- T-shirts with figures or messages of strong content (political, sexual, aggressive).
- Flashy shoes (bright colors, very high stiletto heels, sneakers, dirty or excessively polished).
What Happens At The Naturalization Interview?
Upon entering the office, the officer will greet you, ask for your identification documents and put you under oath.
The questions the officer will ask you during the citizenship interview will revolve around:
- History as a permanent resident and criminal record.
- Evidence or proofs that support the application for naturalization.
- Current place and time of residence.
- Identity data, physical features, family relationships.
- Political opinion and personal ethics (respect for the Constitution and willingness to swear allegiance to the country).
Before attending the appointment, please review the N-400 form carefully and confirm that your answers are correct. The immigration officer will be guided by this form to ask the questions.
You should be prepared to answer additional questions about:
- Recent trips abroad.
- Arrests or resisting arrest, detentions, convictions and others.
- Divorce within the last three years, if you obtained residency by marriage to a US citizen.
- Inconsistency between the answers given in the form and the supporting documents.
During the interview the officer will assess your level of understanding of spoken and written English. You may be interested in reading our blog to learn if you can become a US citizen without speaking English or review the marriage based Green Card interview questions.
Now that you know how to prepare for your US citizenship interview, give us a call and book an appointment with us. Our attorneys can properly prepare you for the interview and clear up any questions you may have.
We have been helping aliens with the different types of American visas, immigration waivers of inadmissibility and applications for family based immigration for more than four decades.
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