The USCIS has announced that it will require in-person interviews for employment-based I-485 adjustment of status applicants starting October 1, 2017. This requirement is different from the current interview standard, where interviews for employment-based I-485 applicants are typically waived.

This change is a result of the USCIS’s recently altered “comprehensive strategy to further improve the detection and prevention of fraud and further enhance the integrity of the immigration system.” It also is consistent with President Trump’s Executive Order 13780, titled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” which was signed on March 6, 2017.

Although the USCIS has not clarified the specifics of the interviews, we anticipate that the interviews will most likely take place at the nearest USCIS field office and that derivative family member applicants will also be required to attend the interview. Regarding the content of the interview, the USCIS adjudicator will most likely review the I-485 questions and answers with the applicant. If any additional information is required, we anticipate that the USCIS will advise applicants ahead of time on what additional documents to bring.

In addition, our firm expects that this additional hurdle in the green card process will also result in significantly increased processing times for I-485 adjustment of status applications. Currently, the processing times for these petitions is 7 to 12 months. This will likely increase by 6 months or more.

Our firm will continue to follow this new requirement closely.

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Victoria Gentry is an associate attorney with The Immigration Group, P.C.  practicing exclusively in the areas of work visas and employment-based green cards. She first became interested in immigration law when her stepfather emigrated from El Salvador to the United States. Now she enjoys assisting corporate clients with a variety of immigration needs including international transfers, visa eligibility, and the green card process. She works primarily with professionals in IT, Engineering, Finance, Pharmacy, and Insurance.