120 Questions to Ask Immigrants

Have you ever met someone who’s moved from another country and wondered what their life is like? Asking the right questions can open up a world of stories, struggles, and dreams. 

Get ready to explore some eye-opening questions that help you really understand what immigrants go through. Let’s dive in!

Personal Background and Heritage

  1. What country were you originally from?
  2. Could you share a bit about your hometown and what life was like there?
  3. What languages do you speak?
  4. Are there any cultural traditions you still practice?
  5. What is a common misconception about your country of origin you’d like to address?
  6. Can you tell us about your family’s heritage?
  7. How did the history of your homeland shape your family’s life?
  8. What are your most cherished memories from your country of origin?
  9. How does your name have significance within your culture?
  10. Were there any particular foods or recipes you grew up with that you still enjoy?
  11. What are some holidays or festivals that are important to your cultural background?
  12. How has your ancestral history influenced who you are today?
  13. Do you maintain any cultural practices or rituals that have been passed down through generations?
  14. What kind of music did you grow up listening to, and does it play a role in your life now?
  15. What stories or folklore from your culture are essential to you and your family?
  16. Are there any traditional crafts or arts from your country that you still practice?
  17. How do you stay connected to your cultural roots?
  18. In what ways do you share your heritage with others?
  19. What is one thing you wish more people knew about your culture?
  20. Have you visited your country of origin since immigrating, and if so, what was that experience like?

Experience with the Immigration Process

  1. What motivated you to immigrate to this country?
  2. Can you walk me through the steps you went through in the immigration process?
  3. What were your initial impressions upon arriving in your new country?
  4. How did you prepare for the move, both emotionally and logistically?
  5. Was there anything about the immigration process that surprised you?
  6. How did you find out about the immigration opportunities in this country?
  7. What kinds of documents or paperwork were required for your move?
  8. How long did the entire immigration process take from start to finish?
  9. Did you have any help from friends, family, or organizations during the immigration process?
  10. What were your biggest concerns before immigrating?
  11. How did you choose the area you first settled in?
  12. Were there any language barriers you experienced? If so, how have you addressed them?
  13. How different was the reality of immigrating from what you expected?
  14. Have you ever faced uncertainty about your immigration status?
  15. What advice would you give to others who are looking to immigrate?
  16. How do you maintain emotional well-being during times of uncertainty in the immigration process?
  17. What preparations did you make to integrate into your new country’s society?
  18. Was the immigration process something you did alone or with family?
  19. How do you view the immigration policy here compared to your country of origin?
  20. Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently in the immigration process?

Cultural Integration and Identity

  1. How do you balance maintaining your original culture with adapting to your new one?
  2. What aspects of your new culture have been the most difficult to adjust to?
  3. How has living in this country affected your sense of identity?
  4. Can you share a positive experience you’ve had with cultural exchange?
  5. What does the concept of “home” mean to you now?
  6. How do you navigate celebrating your traditional customs in the context of a different culture?
  7. Are there local community groups or organizations that you participate in to stay connected to your culture?
  8. How do you educate others about your culture?
  9. In what ways has your cultural identity shifted since you immigrated?
  10. Have you found new cultural aspects in your adopted country that you have embraced?
  11. What do you find enriching about the culture of your new homeland?
  12. How do children in your family manage cultural integration?
  13. Have you faced any cultural misunderstandings, and how did you handle them?
  14. What steps have you taken to learn about the history and customs of your new country?
  15. How important is it for you to teach your native language and culture to your children?
  16. Have you found a balance between adopting new cultural practices and preserving your own?
  17. What public celebrations or holidays have you adopted from your new culture?
  18. In multicultural environments, how do you approach intercultural dialogue?
  19. How do societal values differ between your country of origin and your new country?
  20. Could you share an instance when you felt truly accepted by your new community?

Challenges and Overcoming Obstacles

  1. What was your biggest challenge when you first arrived in this country?
  2. Have you encountered any discrimination or prejudice, and if so, how did you deal with it?
  3. Can you tell us about a time you experienced a cultural or language barrier?
  4. How have you coped with homesickness or missing your family back home?
  5. What resources have been most helpful to you in overcoming challenges here?
  6. How do you handle feelings of isolation or exclusion?
  7. What strategies do you use to navigate unfamiliar social norms or etiquette?
  8. How have you managed financial challenges during your transition to a new life?
  9. In what ways have you sought help or guidance when faced with obstacles?
  10. Can you share how you’ve helped your children (if any) adapt to new educational environments?
  11. Do you feel you have had to sacrifice any part of your identity to fit in?
  12. How do you preserve resilience in the face of daily challenges?
  13. What was a significant obstacle you were able to overcome, and how did you do it?
  14. How have employment opportunities or barriers affected you since immigrating?
  15. How important has community support been in overcoming challenges you’ve faced?
  16. What personal growth can you attribute to the challenges you’ve faced as an immigrant?
  17. How do you manage to stay positive when confronted with setbacks or challenges?
  18. Can you recall an act of kindness you encountered that helped you through a tough time?
  19. Have there been any legal challenges or complications in your immigration journey?
  20. What do you wish you had known about the challenges of immigration beforehand?

Impact and Engagement within New Communities

  1. In what ways have you contributed to your local community since your arrival?
  2. How has your work or career benefitted the community you live in?
  3. Are there any volunteer or community service projects you have initiated or participated in?
  4. How do you think immigrants enhance the cultural richness of your new community?
  5. In what capacities have you taken on leadership roles within your community?
  6. Have you participated in local events or public speaking to share about your experiences as an immigrant?
  7. Can you tell us about any businesses or organizations you have started?
  8. How have you influenced or contributed to educational settings in your community?
  9. What projects or causes are you passionate about that positively impact your community?
  10. How have you encouraged dialogue and understanding between different cultural groups in your area?
  11. Can you share a story where you felt your involvement directly improved someone’s life in your community?
  12. Do you mentor or support other immigrants, and if so, in what capacity?
  13. How have you advocated for immigrant rights or well-being within your new country?
  14. What changes have you seen in your community as a result of immigrant contributions?
  15. How do you help bridge cultural gaps and foster inclusivity in your everyday interactions?
  16. What advice would you give to someone looking to make a positive impact in their new community?
  17. How do you support cultural or ethnic businesses in your community?
  18. Are there any success stories from your community that you find particularly inspiring?
  19. How do you engage with local governance or policymaking to represent immigrant perspectives?
  20. What community traditions or events have you become a part of since immigrating?

Hopes and Aspirations

  1. What dreams did you have before arriving in your new country, and have they changed?
  2. What are your long-term career and personal development goals in this country?
  3. How do you hope to grow within your new community?
  4. What aspirations do you have for your children or future generations in your family?
  5. How do you envision your life in five years within this new country?
  6. If you could achieve one major accomplishment here, what would it be?
  7. What kind of legacy would you like to leave behind for the immigrant community?
  8. Are there any specific contributions you wish to make to your country of origin from abroad?
  9. How do you plan to further your education or professional skills in your new country?
  10. Do you hope to bring more of your family to this country? If so, how are you working towards that?
  11. What kind of societal changes do you hope to witness or participate in?
  12. How do you wish to enrich the lives of others through your own experiences?
  13. What involvement do you aspire to have in political or social movements?
  14. What impact do you hope to have on breaking down cultural barriers?
  15. Is there a particular cause you are passionate about that you wish to advance?
  16. How do you hope to maintain your cultural traditions in the future?
  17. Is there an aspect of your new culture you wish to deeply understand or be a part of?
  18. What would fulfilling the concept of the “American Dream” mean to you personally?
  19. How do you hope to balance your work and personal life in the coming years?
  20. What is the most important change or growth you aspire to achieve personally?

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important to understand the immigrant experience?

Understanding the immigrant experience promotes empathy and cultural diversity. It helps dispel myths and misconceptions, reduces discrimination, and encourages mutual respect and cooperation among individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Why do people immigrate?

People immigrate for different reasons. Here are some common ones:

Jobs: Looking for better work opportunities.
Education: Wanting to study in better schools.
Family: Joining family members already living in the new country.
Safety: Escaping dangers like war or natural disasters.

What is the process involved in immigration?

The immigration process can vary depending on the country and the type of visa. Generally, it often involves an application process, screening, interviews, and many legal procedures. It’s recommended to seek advice from an immigration lawyer or expert to understand the detailed process.

What challenges do immigrants face?

Immigrants can face tough situations, like:

Language barrier: Not knowing the local language.
Discrimination: Being unfairly treated because they are from another country.
Legal issues: Dealing with complex rules to stay in the country.


Remember, asking questions isn’t just about being curious; it’s about building bridges and understanding the people around us better. So, next time you meet someone from a different corner of the world, you’ll know just what to ask. Happy chatting!

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Robby is a multimedia editor at UpJourney with a journalism and communications background.

When she's not working, Robby transforms into an introverted art lover who indulges in her love for sports, learning new things, and sipping her favorite soda. She also enjoys unwinding with feel-good movies, books, and video games. She's also a proud pet parent to her beloved dog, Dustin.