United States: USCIS to Require In-Person Interviews for Employment-Based Adjustment Applicants

On October 1, 2017, USCIS will begin to implement in-person interviews for employment-based applicants for adjustment of status. The agency expects to phase in the new requirement, but has not yet provided implementation details. The personal interview requirement is likely to delay the processing of employment-based adjustments.

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Aug 28, 2017
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Beginning October 1, 2017, USCIS plans to require applicants for employment-based adjustment of status to attend a personal interview before their green card case can be processed to completion.  The requirement is to be phased in , but USCIS has not yet explained how it will do so. The interview requirement is part of the agency's compliance with President Trump's March 6 executive order on protection of the United States from terrorist activities. 

That order - which imposed the travel ban against refugees and nationals of six restricted countries - also directed federal agencies to implement uniform screening and vetting standards for all immigration programs. Interviews for employment-based adjustment applicants are not new, but USCIS has had a longstanding policy of waiving them for most, recognizing that employer-sponsored green card applicants posed few security risks.  

Certain family members of refugees and asylees will also be obligated to attend an interview if they are in the United States and are applying to join the principal asylee or refugee applicant.  The agency plans to require interviews for other immigration benefits applications in the future, but did not specify which case types would be affected. 

What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals
The agency's brief announcement leaves many questions unanswered about the new policy, but it is likely to increase the processing times of employment-based applications for adjustment of status. Fragomen is closely following implementation of the interview requirement and will issue updates as new information is released.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.

© 2017 Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, Fragomen Global LLP and affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

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