USCIS Announces In-Person Interviews for Green Cards


As of August 28, 2017, USCIS announces in-person interviews for green cards.

Applicants seeking a change in status to obtain green cards will now undergo an in-person interview before they are allowed to reside in the United States permanently.

USCIS will begin phasing-in interviews for employment based cases effective October 1, 2017. The change is in compliance with Executive Order 13780, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.”

The purpose of this change is to enhance the integrity of the immigration system by improving the detection and prevention of fraud.

Interviews have not been required since a 2005 memo that outlined the specific identifying cases where in-person interviews were necessary. The criteria used here helped to eliminate backlogs that existed at that time.

The new changes will increase the USCIS workload, and backlogs for employment-based I-485 adjustment of status applications are expected.

Who Is Affected by the New USCIS In-Person Interview Policy?

The following applicants are affected by the new USCIS requirement for an in-person interview:

  • Adjustment of status applications based on employment (Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status).
  • Refugee/asylee relative petitions (Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition) for beneficiaries who are in the United States and are petitioning to join a principal asylee/refugee applicant.

Work visa categories H-1B and L-1 were not previously required to go through the in-person interview process to secure permanent residency, and further expansion of the interview requirement to other benefit types is also expected.

According to Acting USCIS Director James W. McCament, “This change reflects the Administration’s commitment to upholding and strengthening the integrity of our nation’s immigration system.”

USCIS will continue working with other federal agencies to develop more robust screening and vetting procedures for people who seek immigration benefits to reside in the US.

The goal of the in-person interviews is to verify information provided in the application and discover any new and relevant information pertinent to the adjudication process. This will ensure the credibility of the applicant seeking permanent resident status.

To learn more about the interview process or for answers to any other immigration questions, please contact Coral Springs attorneys Brodzki Jacobs & Associates, PL at (954) 344-7737 to schedule an appointment.

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