Beginning October 1, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will phase-in interviews for employment-based adjustment of status applications. Relatives of refugees and asylees located in the United States who are petitioning to join a principal refugee or asylee will also be required to attend in-person interviews with USCIS officers.
This change is in line with Executive Order 13780, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” According to USCIS, “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.”
In-person interviews at the USCIS field offices are already common, especially for family-based immigration applications. Previously, USCIS routinely waived in-person interview requirements for employment-based cases.
CPG Immigration Law anticipates extended processing times for adjustment of status applications that are currently pending. Employers and employees would thus need to plan accordingly. Please contact your attorney or case manager to discuss your questions or concerns about how this new requirement is going to impact your pending case.
The full press release from USCIS regarding this interview requirement is available on their website.