The Trump administration announced that anyone with an employment-based visa must go through an interview before obtaining a green card. The requirement starts on Oct. 1.
Under current law, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has the discretion to interview green card applicants in person. However, USCIS previously waived interviews for many categories of applicants, including those holding employment-based visas. Waiving interviews helped conserve resources and streamline the process.
What Does This Mean?
Many corporate law firms only represent the employing company during the green card sponsorship process, not the foreign national. Therefore, corporate law firms usually do not send attorneys to accompany foreign nationals at their green card interviews.
However, foreign nationals should have an attorney by their side during a green card interview. The USCIS interviewing officer will delve in-depth into all aspects of the application and applicant. The officer can ask the foreign national about her/his visa and work history in the U.S., traffic tickets, marital history and family relationships, and future plans.
Applicants should thoroughly prepare for these interviews and have an attorney present to ensure that everything goes smoothly. An attorney should ensure an applicant answers all questions and any follow-up occurs promptly if USCIS requests additional evidence.
Alcorn Immigration Law provides interview preparation and counseling. We also offer attorney representation at USCIS employment-based green card interviews to foreign nationals obtaining green cards. We have extensive experience representing employment-based green card applicants at USCIS and are available to represent employees whose immigration process has so far been handled by other law firms representing their sponsoring companies.
Nearly 170,000 immigrants obtained green cards in the fiscal year 2015, the latest figures available from the Department of Homeland Security. Nearly three-quarters of those immigrants held an employment-based visa before receiving their green card.
The expanded interview workload for USCIS will undoubtedly further delay the green-card application process. Currently, the USCIS California Service Center has a two-and-a-half-year backlog for reviewing green-card applications.
The interview requirement stems from President Trump’s travel ban executive order. The order—first issued in January and revised in March—called for “uniform screening and vetting standards for all immigration programs.” Requiring in-person interviews and establishing a database of identity documents submitted by applicants were included among the standards explicitly stated in the order.
We Can Help
Alcorn Immigration Law offers employment-based green card assistance and services, including the latest information, mock interviews, and attorney attendance at interviews. Contact us.