USCIS has just announced that, effective October 1st, it will require in-person interviews for all employment-based adjustment of status applications (Form I-485).
Previously, applicants in employment-based categories were not interviewed by USCIS officers, other than for a select number of cases for random auditing purposes and cases involving criminal issues, fraud or misrepresentation.
USCIS stated that this change complies with Executive Order 13780, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” and is part of the agency’s comprehensive strategy to further improve the detection and prevention of fraud and further enhance the integrity of the immigration system.
USCIS stated “conducting in-person interviews will provide USCIS officers with the opportunity to verify the information provided in an individual’s application, to discover new information that may be relevant to the adjudication process, and to determine the credibility of the individual seeking permanent residence in the United States.”
This new requirement will lead to additional processing delay due to USCIS’ limited resources for the additional workload (on top of the enormous current backlog). Additionally, local USCIS officers, who normally handle family-based and naturalization cases, may not have sufficient expertise to handle the complexity and nuances unique to employment-based cases, including EB-1 extraordinary ability aliens, outstanding researchers/professors, or multinational managers/executives; EB-2 exceptional ability or national interest waiver; EB-5 investor visa including source of fund; AC-21 portability; and 245(k) exemptions.
Although attorney presence is not required at the interview, ILG attorneys are available to consult and prepare our clients for their interview, or to accompany our clients during their interview. Please contact ILG if you are scheduled for an interview and wish to retain us in either capacity.