USCIS to Start In Person Interviews for Certain Visa Holders Seeking a Green Card


In the latest crackdown on visa holders in the United States, the authorities started to require in-person interviews for certain visa holders seeking a green card from October 1, 2017.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began interviews with some categories of visa holder and others seeking a green card.

These include people on H-1B skilled worker visas who are applying for permanent residency as well as family members of refugees and asylum seekers.


Some visa holders seeking a green card face interviews

Workers from India take the largest number of H-1B visas every year. A report in News India noted visa holders who are family members of asylum seekers and refugees will be required to attend an in-person interview when they apply for provisional status before the receipt of a green card.

The changes are seen as part of President Donald Trump’s so-called “extreme vetting” policy. In 2015 about 122,000 people moved from an employment-based visa in the United States to a green card.

In January, Trump signed a travel ban executive order. Two months later in March, he called on federal departments to develop uniform screening and vetting standards intended to identify potential terrorists or others who intended to cause harm to U.S, interests. The order stated these standards could include an in-person interview.

The new requirement will also include L visa holders as well as holders of O and F-1 visas.

An F-1 visa is required to attend an American University, college, high school, private elementary school, seminary or other academic institution, we note on our website.

The requirement for an in-person interview is not new. However, USCIS currently waives the interview requirement for holders of these visas most of the time. Under the new policy, such waivers won’t be granted.

More changes are on the horizon for H-1B visas, one of the most important mechanisms American firms use to bring foreign workers to the United States.

In April, Trump issued an executive order on these visas. The order was short on specifics.

Agencies were asked to come up with changes and submit a report within 220 days of the date of the order including specific recommendations to strengthen implementation of Buy American Laws, including domestic procurement preference policies and programs.

These are fast-moving times for companies seeking to hire foreign workers and the applicants themselves. Please call our Austin visa lawyers for assistance at (512) 399-2311.

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