U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin expanding in-person interviews for certain immigration benefit applicants whose benefit, if granted, would allow them to permanently reside in the United States. This change 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.
Effective October 1, 2017, USCIS will begin to phase-in interviews for adjustment of status applications based on employment (Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status). Previously, applicants in this category did not require an in-person interview with USCIS officers in order for their application for permanent residency to be adjudicated.
Acting USCIS Director James W. McCament said that this change “reflects the Administration’s commitment to upholding and strengthening the integrity of our nation’s immigration system. USCIS and our federal partners are working collaboratively to develop more robust screening and vetting procedures for individuals seeking immigration benefits to reside in the United States.”
Conducting in-person interviews will provide USCIS officers with the opportunity to verify the information provided in an individual’s application, to discover new information that may be relevant to the adjudication process, and to determine the credibility of the individual seeking permanent residence in the United States.
At this time, it remains unclear how this will be implemented, including resource allocation, timing, and process. We don’t yet know what this means for pending adjustment applications nor the length of time it will take for interviews to be scheduled.
Conducting in-person interviews is nothing new: the agency conducted interviews for all employment-based cases over 10 years ago. Here at SGG we have the expertise to assist our clients by preparing them for the interviews and attending the interviews with them.
If you have any questions, please contact us.