As of October 1, 2017, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has officially begun to phase-in interviews for individuals seeking permanent residence in the U.S. in employment-based cases. Interviews are typically required for permanent residence in family-based cases, but interviews have previously been largely waived for employment-based cases.
Types of Cases Affected by Phasing-In Interview Requirements
In response to the Trump administration’s recent Executive Order to further prevent terrorist entry into the U.S., employment-based I-485 cases specifically based on an I-140 approval are now subject to interviews. There are no exceptions for EB-1, EB-2, or EB-3 case levels, a nationality of the individual, or occupation.
When and Where the Interviews Will Be Scheduled
USCIS will transfer pending I-485s from their current USCIS Service Center in either Texas or Nebraska to the National Benefits Center (NBC), which is a U.S. clearinghouse that works in conjunction with the field offices of the USCIS to coordinate operations.
The NBC will organize the file and schedule an interview time and date with the USCIS office closest to the interviewee based on the residential address that appears on the I-485 application. The NBC will send the applicant a notice via postal mail detailing the date, office address, and time of the interview. Next, the NBC will ship the applicant’s file to the field office where the interview will take place.
What to Expect During the Interview
USCIS has stated that the purpose of the interview is to help increase security and detect fraud. The organization will review all of the answers to interview questions on the I-485 application while simultaneously reviewing evidence pertaining to the I-140 immigrant petition.
Questions will revolve around the applicant’s prior education along with experience if there is any doubt as to the credibility of provided information. USCIS may also ask questions regarding the relationship between the applicant and his or her dependents to ensure the genuineness of these relationships.
Delays Following Interviews
USCIS has confirmed that applicants should expect certain delays following the interview The organization has provided additional training to staff and hired more employees for key locations to help streamline the review and approval process.
The best immigration lawyer in Chicago may help applicants prepare for their interviews. Applicants can learn more about what interviews will entail by visiting the USCIS website.