Welcome to a new world. On August 28, 2017, USCIS issued a press release that describes the expansion of categories that will require in-person interviews to obtain a green card. The expansion includes green card applicants in employment based categories and relative petitions for refugees and asylees.
Previously, USCIS did not require interviews of people in these categories. However, pursuant to Pres. Trump’s Executive Order 13790 entitled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” USCIS will begin interviewing all adjustment of status (“AOS”) applicants in the categories listed above as of October 1, 2017.
USCIS has released few details on how they will begin implementing this new requirement. However, they stated in their press release that additional training of officers and technology enhancements will allow them to meet the additional interview requirement.
What does this mean for you, the AOS applicant based on employment or a family member of a refugee/asylee? An AOS applicant should expect the time frame to get a green card to be extended. The USCIS offices will need time to bring in additional resources and train their officers to conduct the interviews. The AOS applicant can also expect to attend an interview at their local USCIS office before a green card is issued. These interviews will be similar to those conducted for an AOS applicant through a family based category or at a consulate abroad. Be prepared to answer questions about your job, current employer, and immigration history and status in the United States.
Of course, this general information may not be right for your specific situation, and is not legal advice. Should you have further questions, please feel free to give me a call at Davis Miles McGuire Gardner, 480-733-6800, or you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org