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USCIS Plans to Expand Interview Requirements for Certain Green Card Applicants

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will begin requiring in-person interviews for certain applicants applying for lawful permanent residency (i.e. Green Card).

Beginning October 1st, the agency will begin to implement in-person interviews for applicants in two categories: (1) all Adjustment of Status applications based on employment and (2) Refugee/Asylee petitions for relatives of a primary refugee/asylee applicant. Prior to this announcement, applicants in the above two categories were not required to complete an in-person interview as part of the application review process.

In its press release, USCIS noted the new interview requirement complies with an Executive Order issued by President Trump earlier this year called 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.”

Current immigration law already allows for all green card applicants to be subject to an in-person interview as part of the adjudication process. The agency, however, has waived the interview requirement for various categories of applicants in order to focus agency resources on cases that require increased scrutiny.

USCIS is expected to expand interview requirements to other immigration programs. This new change, and any future interview requirements, is likely to slow down the legal immigration process in the applicable categories by increasing already long processing times.

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