WASHINGTON – Interviews that at one point had been waived for visa holders looking to receive green cards will soon become mandatory, according to the Department of Homeland Security. The change is coming as part of what President Donald Trump calls “extreme vetting” of immigrants.
People with employment-based visas who are looking to adjust their status to legal permanent residents will now likely have to do an in-person interview with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services before they’re allowed a green card. A memo seen by NBC news stated that more than 130,000 applicants will now be required to have an interview. Petitions from relatives of refugees already in the United States will also be required to have an interview.
“This is the first stage of a multi-year expansion of interviews,” Carter Langston, a USCIS spokesman, told NBC News.
Another DHS official told NBC News the new policy may soon include other visa holders such as students and green card holders who currently don’t require an interview to change status. The official said the expanded workload could mean that USCIS will conduct more than a million interviews across the board every year.
Critics of the new policy believe the increase in interviews will just lead to more delays in processing green cards.
The policy is expected to take effect October 1.
“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.”
The best way to avoid a longer wait because of the change is to get your applications in as soon as possible.
You can find out if you’re eligible for a green card with our FREE quiz.
Or start your application today.