Louisiana Immigration Law Firm

Ashley Dees LLC is now Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. Please visit www.bal.com for more information.

In-Person Interview Requirements Expanding for Permanent Residents

On August 25, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that mandatory interviews would be introduced for certain green card applicants. USCIS said these new procedures comply with Executive Order 13780, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” which is part of the agency’s strategy to improve the detection and prevention of fraud and further enhance the immigration system.

On October 1, USCIS started phasing in interviews for the following:

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

In previous years, applicants in these categories did not require an in-person interview with USCIS officers for their permanent residency application to be settled—the interviews were simply waived. One of the biggest concerns with these interviews is the length of time it could add to the green card application process. According to USCIS, it takes an average of 333 days to process employment-based applications—with the interview waivers. At this time, the delay time is not yet certain, but given the volume of additional interviews and file transfers, significant additional delays are expected.

As for the interviews themselves, they will be scheduled at a local USCIS field office that has jurisdiction over the place of residence of the applicant. At the interview, you should expect questions in regards to your I-485 form, such as employment history and medical information. If you hire an immigration attorney, they are allowed to accompany you to an interview. In many cases, they will be helpful to prepare you for the interview, especially since there isn’t much information on the internet since they’re relatively new.

If you want to know more about these in-person interviews, please contact our Lake Charles immigration attorneys at Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP today.

Call our Lake Charles office at (337) 214-0670 or contact us online.