USCIS TO IMPLEMENT REGULAR INTERVIEW REQUIREMENT FOR EMPLOYMENT-BASED IMMIGRANTS IN THE ERA OF “EXTREME VETTING”
In the latest wave of the Trump Administration’s “extreme vetting” immigration campaign, USCIS has announced that all employment-based adjustment of status applicants must now pass an in-person interview. This new policy to set to come into law October 1, although some initial reports from members of the immigration lawyer community indicate that routine employment-based adjustment applicants may already be receiving interview notices.
With average USCIS green card applications already facing a processing time of a half-year or more, such in-person interviews will increase wait-times exponentially. Previously, waivers of a general interview requirement were granted to these applicants as interviews were viewed as an unnecessary step toward residency given that consulates regularly vet candidates’ admissibility during the visa process. Although routine in family cases, employment-based cases generally only triggered an interview requirement where admissibility was an issue. However, unlike consular interviews, adjustment applicants generally have a right to have counsel present during the interview.