Beginning October 1, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin requiring applicants for employment-based U.S. permanent residence (green cards) to attend an in-person interview before their adjustment of status application can be approved. Under current policy, USCIS has typically waived interviews for employment-based applications. This new requirement stems from President Trump's Executive Order "Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States." USCIS states that in-person interviews will allow officers to verify information in an individual's application; discover new information that may be relevant to the adjudication process; and determine the credibility of individuals seeking permanent residence in the U.S.

The Effects of the In-Person Interview Requirement

This new policy is expected to further increase the processing time of the already-lengthy permanent residence application process. Individuals applying for adjustment of status based on their employment should now expect to be called in for an interview before their application is approved. This additional step in the process is likely to cause additional delays in the adjudication of their application, as additional mandatory interviews will increase the workload of USCIS officers around the country.

Employers who intend to sponsor an employee for permanent residence should take into account increased processing times when strategizing when to begin the permanent residence process.

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