What to Wear to an Immigration Interview

What should you wear to an interview?

A good rule of thumb is to dress as if you were going to a job interview in an office building, or as if you were meeting your partner’s family for the first time. In other words, something clean, comfortable and presentable that makes a good impression. You don’t want to wear anything that might be offensive or considered controversial. Your clothingnsive, but it should be clean and pressed. That doesn’t mean you have to spend hours working on the creases in your dress pants, it just means that you don’t want to wear anything that looks like you just rolled out of bed in it. Polishing your shoes so they shine isn’t necessary, but do give them a quick wipe if they need it. Don’t go overboard with the perfume or cologne (you too, gents!).

What NOT to wear:

  • gym clothes such as shorts, sweatpants, tank tops, etc.
  • t-shirts with offensive or political slogans/pictures
  • dirty or torn clothing
  • excessive perfume/cologne
  • distracting makeup or hairstyles

What you SHOULD wear:

  • professional, moderately conservative clothing
  • clothing that would be appropriate for a job interview in an office
  • clean, pressed outfits
  • business casual

What is business casual? Business casual is a comfortable, less formal version of classic business attire. Should men wear a suit? If you feel comfortable wearing a suit then by all means, feel free to wear one to the interview. If, however, you’re not accustomed to wearing a suit, don’t feel that you need to get this dressed up; a pair of pants and a nice shirt would be fine.

What about the naturalization ceremony? Taking the oath to become a United States citizen is an important event in your life. People will be bringing guests and some ceremonies may even have VIPs attending, so you’ll want to look your best. There will also be lots of pictures taken. USCIS addresses this issue in its Guide to Naturalization:

The naturalization ceremony is a solemn and meaningful event. Please dress in proper attire to respect the dignity of this event (please no jeans, shorts, or flip flops).

At the minimum, business casual would be appropriate but you could also dress up in a suit or dress if you’re so inclined. Leave the tux and ball gown in the closet or you’ll likely feel overdressed.

OVERALL, you want to be comfortable and make a good impression. If you are not comfortable in your clothing, you will probably be distracted and not completely focused on the questions that are asked. Impressions go a long way!

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