The general rule is that all individuals who are seeking permanent residency in the United States are required to be personally interviewed by an officer of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Now, with the COVID 19 pandemic, USCIS has approved an increased number of applications for adjustment of status without the necessity of an interview. As of April 7, 2022, the waiver of an interview by the USCIS officer who has been assigned to process an application for adjustment of status is now discretionary under certain circumstances.
Conditions of Possible Interview Waiver
Pursuant to this USCIS policy update, the personal interview requirement can be waived if a USCIS officer decides that a marriage is bona fide, there was a joint filing that is eligible for a waiver and there is no indication of fraud or misrepresentation in the documents accompanying the application. In addition, there can be no complex issues of facts or issues that need to be resolved and there can be no criminal convictions that might make a person removable.
It’s a Risk-Based Approach
As per a spokesman for the USCIS, the discretionary waiver is a risk-based strategic approach will decrease application processing times and help decrease pending caseloads, while guarding against identity fraud and protecting national security. The interview waivers are said to be consistent with USCIS priorities in eliminating unnecessary burdens on those who are awaiting a green card and also responding to public concerns.
On a case-by case basis, a USCIS officer might decide whether a personal interview will be waived. All relevant evidence in the applicant’s record must first be considered. Although not inclusive, here’s a list of other individuals that a USCIS officer might waive an interview for:
- Applicants who are clearly ineligible.
- Unmarried children under the age of 21 of U.S. citizens along with every applicant in that family so long as a Form I-485 was filed either on their own or with the family’s adjustment applications. Everybody else in that family must be eligible for an interview waiver.
- The parents of U.S. citizens.
- Unmarried children of lawful permanent residents who are under the age of 14 eligible for an interview waiver if a Form I-485 was filed on their own or together with their family for adjustment applications. Everybody else in that family must be eligible for an interview waiver.
- Military personnel petitioners and incarcerated petitioners, but the adjustment applicant is required to be present for an interview. An applicant or petitioner may be unable to be present in an interview as a result of illness or incapacitation. A USCIS officer must obtain supervisory approval for an interview waiver.
No matter what your circumstances might be, don’t count on a waiver of an interview with a USCIS officer on your application for adjustment of status. Be prepared. It’s highly likely that an interview will be required. A waiver of an interview might come as a nice surprise though. Should you feel that you’re eligible for a waiver, or if you’ve requested one, and it was denied, contact us at Maison Law Immigration Lawyers in Bakersfield, CA. We’ll be pleased to discuss your waiver issue with you. Our objective is to make the immigration process easier and less stressful for immigrants to the United States from start to finish.
Contact a California Immigration Lawyer Today
If you or a family member need assistance in obtaining a permanent residency in the United States, speak with a Central Valley immigration attorney at Maison Law Immigration Lawyers. We know what needs to be done to effectively help you. We’re committed to helping every person who intends on becoming a permanent resident of the United States in obtaining the professional legal assistance that they deserve. It’s people like you who built this country, and your family members can continue build it even better.
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