USCIS to Require In-Person Interviews for Employment-Based AOS Applicants and Asylee/Refugee Relative Petitions

Alexander J. Segal's picture

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced its plans to expand the in-person interview requirement for certain benefit applicants whose benefits, if granted, would allow them to reside permanently in the United States [PDF version]. We recently posted a blog on the news that the announcement was impending [see blog].

The changes come as part of the USCIS's efforts to implement President Donald Trump's March 6, 2017 Executive Order 13780, titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” which called for the implementation of a uniform baseline of screening for visa applicants [see blog].

Interview Requirement

Effective October 1, 2017, the USCIS will require interviews in the following circumstances:

  • Adjustment of status applications based on employment (filed on the Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status); and
  • Refugee/asylee relative petitions for beneficiaries who are in the United States and who are petitioning to join a principal asylee/refugee applicant (filed on the Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition).

The applicants did not previously require in-person interviews in order for their applications for permanent residency to be adjudicated. The USCIS statement indicates that it is “planning an incremental expansion of in-person interviews to other benefit types” in the future.

Those seeking adjustment of status or any benefit that may lead to permanent residency should always consult with an experienced immigration attorney for case-specific guidance and assistance. An experienced immigration attorney will be abreast of the most up-to-date rules and procedures regarding the application in question, including the expansion of the in-person interview requirement for employment-based adjustment of status applications and for certain beneficiaries of refugee/asylee relative petitions.

We will update the website with information regarding new USCIS interview policies as it becomes available.