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Interviews Tips for Employment-Based PR Applicants!

Effective October 1, 2017, USCIS implemented a new policy requiring all employment-based permanent residency (“green card”) applicants to attend an in-person interview with a USCIS officer before their case is finalized and approved. All employment-based green card applications, filed on or after March 6, 2017, are subject to this interview in the following categories:

  • EB-1, employment based first preference

  • EB-2, employment based second preference

  • EB-3, employment based third preference

Once the I-485, adjustment of status to permanent resident application has been filed and it is ready to be adjudicated, the application will be sent to the National Benefit Center (NBC). Upon transfer of the case, the applicant will receive an interview notice from USCIS that lists date, time and location the applicant must appear for the interview.

Here are some tips for you to prepare for the employment-based adjustment interview.

1. What to prepare during the interview?

  • Anything asked and/or listed on the submitted form I-485;

  • Questions related to the applicant’s eligibility;

  • Questions related to the applicant’s admissibility, such as any arrests or misrepresentations made to an immigration officer;

  • Questions related to the applicant’s educational background;

  • Questions related to the applicant’s job and job duties.

2. What about my family members? (spouse and children)?

Family members, such as a spouse or a child (under 21) will also be subject to the interview requirement. USCIS has the option to waive an interview for applicants who are under 14 years old, however, a waiver is not guaranteed. If you and your family members filed the adjustment of status application at the same time, USCIS will try to interview you as a group. But if any family member’s application is delayed, the family interview might be arranged separately.

During the interview, the USCIS officer will go over the information provided on the I-485, to determine eligibility and admissibility of the dependent. In addition, the officer will examine whether the bona fide relationship exists between the primary applicant and the dependent. Specifically, spouses should bring documentation that support the marriage, such as evidence of sharing the same residence, statement of joint taxes/accounts/assets, marriage certificate, family photos, etc.

3. Any changes to your employment, after your application was submitted?

Any material changes of previous employment can result to the denial. Make sure to inform your attorney in the following changes:

  • Transfer to a new employer or payroll entity

  • Change in job location

  • Change in job title, duties, or responsibilities

  • Promotion or demotion

  • Change from full-time to part-time (or vice versa)

  • Corporate mergers, acquisitions, name change, FEIN change, or other similar restructuring

  • Reduction in salary

  • Termination of employment

4. After the interview, when I can get the decision from USCIS?

After an interview, USCIS has 120 days to issue a decision. However, if there are no outstanding questions or missing evidence and the priority date is current, most cases are decided in 30 to 60 days after the interview. If further information or evidence is needed, the officer will issue a request for evidence and ask you to respond within a set period of time.

5. Can I have an attorney present with me during the interview?

Attorneys are permitted to attend the adjustment interview with the applicant. Since the mandatory interview is new, we highly recommend attending the interview with an attorney. If you wish to have legal counsel at your interview, please contact our office.

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