Certain green card applicants will soon be required to undergo in-person interviews. This new policy will go into effect on October 1, 2017. This step could further slow down the green card process that is already slow.
The requirement is a part of President Donald Trump’s Executive Order 13780, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” which seeks to strengthen screening of visitors and immigrants coming to the U.S. and improve detection of fraud.
In-person interviews will be required for those attempting to adjust their status to that of a permanent resident based on employment. This requirement also applies to the family members of asylees and refugees who apply to join the principal refugee or asylee applicant. According to Carter Langston, a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) spokesman, the agency will expand the categories of immigrants who will have to undergo in-person interviews in the future.
Earlier, applicants belonging to the above-mentioned categories were not required to appear for an in-person interview with immigration officers. Now the USCIS has made it a requirement for these applicants to attend interviews for their green card applications to be adjudicated. USCIS is more likely to add more categories of permanent residency applicants and those applying for other types of benefits to the list of applicants who will need to attend in-person interviews.
According to Acting USCIS Director James W. McCament, the agency is working with federal partners to develop a more stringent vetting procedure for those applying for immigration benefits. In-person interviews will help USCIS to verify information applicants provide in their applications. These interviews will also give them an opportunity to discover new information that may help them in the application adjudication process. Moreover, they will be able to make sure whether or not the applicant is eligible for legal permanent resident status in the U.S.
This move will likely lengthen the processing times for obtaining green cards and also increase USCIS backlogs. USCIS says that the agency will meet the new requirement by enhancing technology and making certain transitions.