A recent directive from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) will require many more green card applicants to go through an interview. While interviews are technically required for all green card applicants, CIS has typically waived interviews for many applicants, choosing instead to focus its limited resources only on those applicants deemed to be high-risk.
The new directive stems from President Trump’s travel ban executive order and is scheduled to go into effect on October 1st. Under the new policy, those applying for green cards based on their employment in the US, or applying for relatives who are refugees or seeking asylum, will now be required to submit to an interview.
CIS intends to expand the categories of applicants subject to interviews to encompass a greater number of immigrants, perhaps to include relatives of US citizens who decide to apply for green cards. The new directive is expected to affect up to 180,000 green card applicants. The application process for employment-based green card applications already takes 333 days with a waived interview, and the new interview requirement is expected to lengthen that process.
Some critics of the new policy question the wisdom of using limited resources to target these new classes of interviewees, however this new policy could form the basis of increased budget and staffing requests for CIS.