USCIS announces in-person interview for green card aspirants including H-1B and L1 visa holders

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People who have applied for the green card based on employment visas, for instance, H-1B and L-1, and refugee/asylee relative petitioners will now be interviewed in-person before granting permanent residency.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on Monday that it will now interview people who have applied for the change in visa status to obtain green cards. The new provision will be effective from October 1.

“US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin expanding in-person interviews for certain immigration benefit applicants whose benefit, if granted, would allow them to permanently reside in the United States,” the statement from USCIS read. “This change complies with Executive Order 13780, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.””

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The statement said that in-person interviews will help immigration authorities to improve their “detection and prevention of fraud” mechanism and “enhance the integrity of immigration system.”

The statement read:

Effective Oct. 1, USCIS will begin to phase-in interviews for the following:

  • Adjustment of status applications based on employment (Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status).

  • Refugee/asylee relative petitions (Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition) for beneficiaries who are in the United States and are petitioning to join a principal asylee/refugee applicant.

Earlier, the green card aspirants from work visa categories like H-1B and L-1 did not require to go through the interview process. The immigration agency is planning to expand the interview requirement to other categories too.

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“This change reflects the Administration’s commitment to upholding and strengthening the integrity of our nation’s immigration system,” said Acting USCIS Director James W. McCament. “USCIS and our federal partners are working collaboratively to develop more robust screening and vetting procedures for individuals seeking immigration benefits to reside in the United States.”

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The new requirement is put in place to verify the information given in the person’s application and to discover new information that may be relevant for the adjudication of the petition. “USCIS will meet the additional interview requirement through enhancements in training and technology as well as transitions in some aspects of case management,” USCIS said.