Green Cards Approved WITHOUT Interview (Good News!)
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have observed USCIS waive some green card interviews. It appears that USCIS is approving more green card applications without an interview. That is a great development indeed. In addition, it appears that other types of immigration applications are being processed quicker than usual.
In this article, we are going to explain what the increase in green card approvals without an interview might mean, and we will touch on an area where immigration processing is thankfully moving faster. If, after reading this article, you have more questions about applying for a green card, then we invite you to contact us at Ashoori Law. Feel free to call us at +1-818-741-1117 or you may request a free consultation by clicking this link.
Green Card Approval in Some Cases Without an Interview
As noted, the biggest piece of good news is that USCIS appears to be waiving the interview requirement for some green card applicants seeking an adjustment of status.
1. Adjustment of Status Typically Requires an Interview
If you are already lawfully present in the United States and you are looking to obtain a green card, you would likely apply to USCIS for what is called an “Adjustment of Status.” Simply stated, you are asking USCIS to “adjust your status” from whatever type of visa status you currently have to lawful permanent resident (or green card) status.
Typically, when you seek an adjustment of status, USCIS requires you to attend an adjustment of status interview. This requirement is for both family-based and employment-based green cards. During the interview, a USCIS officer will ask you various questions to assess your case. Following a successful interview, you will then get your green card. That has been the process for many years.
However, what we have been seeing most recently is that, for some cases, – both family-based and employment-based – the green card has been approved without an interview.
What makes this such great news is that an interview can sometimes bring up issues that could cause USCIS to give an application more scrutiny than it otherwise would. Also, adjustment of status interviews can be very stressful for the applicant, adding more nervousness to an already difficult process. So, getting a green card without an interview is a huge benefit – and relief – to applicants.
2. Remember, Waiving the Interview is Not Official USCIS Policy
It is important to remember that even though we are seeing USCIS approve some adjustment of status applications without an interview, this is not an official USCIS policy. Rather, this development is something that we have observed on some cases.
Moreover, based on our observations, we believe that we will see more of USCIS waiving the interview requirement for employment-based green cards in particular. The reason for that is twofold.
First, the adjustment of status interview has not always been a requirement of employment-based green card applications. There was a time when USCIS did not normally ask for an adjustment of status interview for employment-based green card applications. Accordingly, USCIS may find that it is more effective and efficient to approve some number of employment-based green card applications without an interview moving forward.
Second, with family-based green card applications (such as a green card based on marriage), it is much harder for USCIS to determine whether there is any fraud if it does not conduct an in-person interview. While there is no hard evidence to show that USCIS will favor employment-based applications in deciding to waive the interview requirement, our best guess is that it will be harder for family-based cases to be approved without an interview.
That said, it is still good to know that some cases are being approved without an interview. Given the fact that the pandemic has caused many USCIS offices to close, one might think that USCIS processing would grind to a halt. It is good to know that USCIS is still moving forward and approving green card applications even during the pandemic.
The Labor Certification Process is Moving Faster Than Ever
The other piece of good news is the fact that the labor certification process is also moving at a quicker pace.
When an employer wants to sponsor a foreign worker for a green card, the employer must go through a “labor certification” process. It is a process in which the U.S. employer shows that it tried to hire a U.S. worker for a particular job, and it could not find an adequate U.S. worker willing and able to take on the work. That process is done through the U.S. Department of Labor, and it typically takes a very long time to complete.
The good news – processing time during the current pandemic has been much, much faster. The reasons for the sharp decline in processing time is not certain, but it is great news anytime the wheels of a U.S. government agency turn faster than usual.
With all the challenging news around us, it is always great to have some good news to report. We hope that the news in this article brightens your day a little.
My name is Michael Ashoori and I'm a U.S. immigration lawyer and the founder of Ashoori Law. As an immigration lawyer, I help families, professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs get visas, green cards, and citizenship to the United States. If you have any questions, feel free to request a free consultation by clicking this link.
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Michael Ashoori, Esq.
U.S. Immigration Lawyer
I’m a U.S. immigration lawyer and I help families, professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs get visas, green cards, and citizenship to the United States.
Since starting my law firm, I’ve helped hundreds of people from all over the world with their immigration needs. I’m very passionate, hard-working, and committed to my clients.
Got a question? Send me an email.