Under the direction of the executive order “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” USCIS announced plans to require interviews for adjustment of status (AOS) based on employment. Previously, only a small percentage of employment-based AOS required an in person interview. Now, USCIS will require all employment AOS petitioners with pending I-140 must submit to an interview. The sudden changes created many questions or concern. Months later, a CIS Ombudsman stakeholder call has provided clarification detailing the new procedural changes.
Interview Coordinators: SCOPS, NBC, and Field Offices
SCOPS, or the USCIS Service Center Operation Directorate, will continue to adjudicate petitions for AOS based on employment. However, interviews will be facilitated through the National Benefits Center (NBC). NBC will process each case, and coordinate with individual field office to schedule interviews. Applicants located near inundated field offices, like in Atlanta, should expect long wait times for a scheduled interview.
Once a person’s application has been adjudicated through SCOPS, the field office will not readjudicate the case. The field officers will ask questions about the nature of the employment based AOS. Possible questions include topics of:
- Employment location
- Nature of Employment
- Level of Education held
However, new types of questions may arise as the new initiative aims at “protect[ing] the integrity” of the immigration system.
The new in person interview requirement for employment-based AOS may have a lasting effect on the green card process. The top field offices, which includes Atlanta, have slowed processing times. Although USCIS claims the workload will not increase inefficiency, it may take time to realize the full impact of the interview requirement. Backlog will most likely increase. If you have any questions about adjustment of status complications, feel free to contact our office.