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Update on New Interview Requirement for Adjustment of Status Applications

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that they would expand in-person interviews for applicants for adjustment of status to permanent residence for all applications based upon employment and refugee/asylee relative petitions.  In-person interviews have seldom been required for these categories.

Under the new policy, all employment-based applications for permanent residence filed after March 6, 2017 will be required to undergo an in-person interview.  Applications filed prior to March 6 will be subject to in-person interviews under exceptional circumstances, amounting to between 5% and 10% of applications filed.

It is unclear how USCIS will accommodate the added workload, and slower processing times are a likely consequence, but USCIS states it will prioritize employment-based interviews with the goal of allocating all available visas authorized for each fiscal year.  Although interviewing officers have been instructed to not re-adjudicate the underlying approved I-140 Petition for Immigrant Worker, they have been instructed to evaluate whether documentation submitted in support of the I-140 is accurate, bona fide, and credible.  USCIS advises that interviewees should expect to be questioned regarding their admissibility and eligibility, including where they will work, what they are going to do, their educational background and experience, whether the employer still intends to employ the applicant, and whether the applicant still intends to take up employment.

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