On August 28, 2017, United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced on its website that, starting October 1, 2017, the agency will require applicants for employment-based adjustment of status (“green cards”) to appear for an in-person interview at a local USCIS office as part of the green card adjudication process.
USCIS has yet to provide specifics regarding exactly how and when the in-person interviews will begin, but had generally stated that it will be “phased in” over time.
Who this Impacts
USCIS has stated that, starting October 1, interviews will be phased in for both employment-based adjustment of status applicants (EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, etc.) as well as refugee/asylee relative petitions.
Historically USCIS has waived the in-person interview requirement for employment-based adjustment applicants, recognizing that employer-sponsored green card applicants posed few security risks. However, the agency has stated that this change in long-standing policy “complies with Executive Order 13780, Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States, and is part of the agency’s comprehensive strategy to further improve the detection and prevention of fraud and further enhance the integrity of the immigration system.”
Things to Keep in Mind
USCIS’s statement also indicates that the agency plans to expand the interview requirement to other immigration benefits applications in the future, but did not provide specifics.
Once fully phased in, this development is likely to increase adjudication times for employment-based adjustment of status applications as well as adjudication times for any other immigration benefits for which the Agency imposes an in-person interview requirement.
D&S will continue to monitor this developing situation and provide updates as they become available.