USCIS Waives Some Green Card Interviews: New Emails Sent By USCIS
A few weeks ago, we shared a video discussing a fascinating trend we’ve observed at our law firm: green card approval without an interview having first been conducted for an increasing number of individuals applying for marriage-based adjustment of status. In our practice, we’ve seen multiple instances where applicants obtained their green cards swiftly without sitting down in person before an immigration officer. It is important to note that this is not an official USCIS policy, as there is no blanket waiver for interviews. Unlike employment-based adjustment of status cases where fewer of filings are chosen for an interview, the standard in marriage-based cases has always called for a formal interview . However, the frequency of waived interviews, along with recent emails received from USCIS, suggests that this trend might be more prevalent for marriage-based adjustments than we initially thought. Today, we’ll share the contents of one of these emails and delve into its implications. So, let’s take a look and explore further.
In a particular email, dated March 17, 2023, the email expresses gratitude for submitting Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, and notifies us that the application has been transferred to a USCIS Field Office for review and adjudication. Notably, the email reads, “What to expect… Your form I-485 will be reviewed promptly and may be adjudicated without an interview. It goes on to say that “If an interview is deemed necessary, a separate notice will be sent, specifying the date, time, and location.” Furthermore, the email highlights the importance of submitting a valid and unexpired Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, completed by an authorized civil surgeon, to expedite the processing of the I-485.
Our interest was piqued for several reasons. First, USCIS explicitly mentions the possibility of waiving the interview requirement. By leaving this possibility open and alerting applicants to the potential waiver, USCIS acknowledges that interviews may not be necessary. While not an official policy, the fact that they are actively sending these emails indicates that interview waivers might be more common than initially believed. This is undoubtedly positive news for applicants seeking a smoother and faster immigration process.
The email’s next paragraph provides additional insight into USCIS’s focus on expediting case processing. It reads, “To expedite the processing of your form I-485,” followed by instructions on what applicants should do. This emphasis on expedited processing, immediately after addressing the interview waiver possibility, strengthens our belief that USCIS is genuinely committed to processing cases quickly. The email highlights both the potential waiver of interviews, which can accelerate the case review, and additional measures to expedite processing. This combination fosters optimism that more individuals could have their interviews waived, resulting in faster overall case processing.
Less Interviews More Proactive Management:
While unofficial waivers of marriage-based interviews are undoubtedly a positive development, the swift adjudication of these green card cases emphasize the need to stay in constant contact with your immigration attorney until adjudication, particularly if circumstances in your relationship change, or you want to make sure you understand what a green card approval means for your status in the U.S. While in-person interviews were often a source of stress for some couples, they also provided closure and some helpful information in terms of defining status. Staying in touch with your lawyer to address any post-approval questions will be vital.
We must emphasize that the interview waiver trend we have observed is not an official policy established by USCIS. Our experience, coupled with the emails we received, suggests that interview waivers may be more common than initially anticipated. This is undoubtedly encouraging news for individuals with marriage-based adjustment of status cases. If you fall into this category, we hope this information brightens your day and instills confidence that your case could proceed swiftly. As always, thank you for reading our blogs. We eagerly anticipate sharing more updates with you soon.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is based on our personal observations and should not be regarded as official USCIS policy. We recommend consulting an immigration attorney for accurate and up-to-date information pertaining to your specific case.
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Michael Ashoori, Esq.
President of Ashoori Law
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.