When an examination is to be conducted in immigration proceedings, the person involved has the right to be represented, at no expense to the government, by an attorney or representative, as defined in 8 CFR 292.1(a). The role of the representative at an interview is to ensure that the rights of the individuals he or she represents are protected.
When conducting an interview of a petitioner and beneficiary simultaneously, attorneys or other representatives of both the petitioner and beneficiary will be permitted to appear.1 In visa petition proceedings, representatives who have obtained the consent of the petitioner should be recognized in interviews with the petitioner. Representatives who have obtained the consent of the beneficiary should be recognized in interviews with the beneficiary. An attorney or representative may not respond to questions the USCIS officer directs to the applicant, petitioner, or witness, except to ask the USCIS officer to clarify the question asked. An attorney or representative may ask the applicant or petitioner additional questions at the conclusion of the interview by the officer.
An attorney or other representative of an applicant or petitioner may not simultaneously serve as his or her client’s interpreter during an interview2. If, after being so advised, the attorney or other representative continues to interpret for the applicant or petitioner or otherwise disrupts the interview, USCIS may terminate the interview and advise the parties that the interview cannot be completed under these circumstances and that USCIS will proceed to make a decision based on the record of proceedings.3
See Chapter 15 for additional guidance on Interview Techniques.
1 8 CFR 103.2(a)(3) (2011)
2 Exceptions may be made if the interests of the Government will not be prejudiced.
3 This language does not apply to examinations governed by 8 CFR 312.4.