New regulations for employment based Green Cards

8 Sep 2017 The American Dream

Personal interview requirement in U.S. consulate now expanded to further immigrant visas

It is not easy to get an immigrant visa for the USA and it is not getting easier. USCIS has now expanded regulations for American employers and family members of refugees and asylum seekers applying for a Green Card.

What requirement did USCIS add to the processing of immigration visas?

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has mandated personal interviews be conducted for so-called employment-based Green Cards and petitions for relatives of refugees and asylum-seekers. In most cases, this interview takes place in a USCIS office located near the applicant’s U.S. home since the applicants should already be living in the USA.

This expansion of requirements complies with the Executive Order 13780 “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” decreed by President Trump in March 2017. The new regulations aim to prevent fraud and increase security measures when reviewing applicants.

Who is affected by these changes?

The changes will take effect on October 1st, 2017 and USCIS will then require personal interviews for the following visa categories:

  • Adjust of status applications who are in the USA and want to change their nonimmigrant visa into a so-called employment-based Green Card through a U.S. employer (Adjustment of Status for employment-based Green Cards with the Form 1-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status)
  • Family members of refugees or asylum-seekers who have applied for permanent residence (Form 1-730 Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition).

Why is there now an interview requirement?

Previously, applicants applying for a visa in both categories were not required to appear for a personal interview in a USCIS office and interviews were only conducted in exceptional cases, Now, however, each applicant must appear for personal vetting. 

According to the USCIS Director James W. McCament, the expansion of the interview requirement strengthens the integrity of the American immigration system. By working with federal partners, USCIS will increase screening and vetting procedures for applicants intending to live permanently in the USA. 

The personal interview will make it possible for the USCIS officer to:

  • Verify the information given in the application
  • Ask for additional information that could be relevant for the final decision
  • Determine the credibility of the applicant
  • Detect and prevent fraud cases

Be prepared for an invitation to appear for a personal interview in a USCIS office in the future.