USCIS to Interview Applicants for Employment-Based Permanent Residence

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will curtail the practice of waiving employment-based adjustment of status interviews, which has been the USCIS practice for these cases for many years. The adjustment of status application is the final stage of the green card process and provides USCIS with an opportunity to review an applicant’s background to identify fraud or security risks. According to the recent announcement, officers will use the interviews to verify the information provided in an individual’s application, to discover new information that may be relevant to the case, and to determine the credibility of the individual seeking permanent residence in the United States.

Interviews will be held at the USCIS office with jurisdiction over each applicant’s place of residence. In fiscal year 2015 alone, USCIS adjudicated 122,000 employment-based permanent residence applications. Therefore, the elimination of the interview waiver will cause additional delays in processing applications for permanent residence.

It is unclear how dramatically the interview requirement will impact processing times for adjustment of status applications. It is also not yet clear whether some cases will be waived or whether all applicants will be interviewed. McCown & Evans will follow this issue carefully and provide updates as information becomes available.