US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has announced that beginning October 1, 2017, it will require far more people to appear at its offices for in-person interviews – a change that could potentially impact hundreds of thousands of people applying for permanent residence status.
Specifically, USCIS will be phasing in interviews for all employment-based green card applicants as well as asylees and refugees who are petitioning for a spouse or child to join them in the United States. USCIS states that the purpose of the interview requirements is to root out fraud and protect national security and public safety.
This new procedure complies with the President’s Executive Order 13780, “Protecting the nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” However, the agency has not identified any specific risks or threats that justify the need to interview those who have cleared rigorous background and security checks and have no fraud indicators. As you may imagine, implementing this plan would likely lead to massive processing backlogs for many of our clients.
As more details emerge, we will send out further updates.