\ afm \ Adjudicator's Field Manual - Redacted Public Version \ Chapter 15 Interviewing. \ 15.2 Interview Environment.
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(a) Adjudications Environment
It is essential that the person being interviewed appreciate the importance and seriousness of the proceedings. To ensure this, the setting in which the interview takes place must be orderly and official in appearance. Desktops should be uncluttered and files should be housed in cabinets. Flags, USCIS and DHS seals and other official displays can enhance the official appearance. Excessive amounts of personal items should not be displayed in view of applicants, as these may be distracting or detract from the serious nature of the proceedings.
Because adjudications units in local USCIS offices are generally very busy with a high volume of applicants appearing for interviews, it is essential that adequate office space be provided for each district adjudications officer.
Sufficient seating for the officer and the person being interviewed, attorney or other representative and family members should be provided. The attorney or other representative should be seated directly next to the person being interviewed to facilitate appropriate participation unless this cannot be accommodated due to the physical layout of the interview space. If the officer has a concern that the seating arrangements may be inhibiting or negatively impacting the interview process, he or she should contact a supervisor for guidance.
(b) General Office Environment
Ideally, individual offices or high-walled, acoustically insulated, modular offices with doors should be provided to ensure a reasonable level of privacy. Offices should be equipped with video or audio taping devices. If the district lacks sufficient recording equipment, arrangements should be made to provide such equipment for, at least, the most difficult cases. Each work station should be provided with sufficient storage space for files, supplies, research materials and personal items, so that the office remains uncluttered. Acoustical ceiling tiles or other sound dampening material should be installed to minimize noise from other interviews and protect the privacy of each applicant. Lighting and ventilation should be adequate for a pleasant, comfortable and efficient working environment. USCIS will make every effort to make reasonable accommodations for applicants with disabilities. When possible, the public waiting area should be reasonably near the interview area to minimize lost time between interviews.