Beginning October 1, USCIS will expand the in-person interview requirement to include two new categories of permanent resident applications. The in-person interview requirement will extend to include applicants filing for employment-based adjustment of status, as well as refugee and asylee relative petitions for beneficiaries already in the United States. Notably, both categories are applicants who are physically present in the United States, having already passed comprehensive background checks and U.S. Customs and Border Protection screening.
The expanded interview requirement is an effort to implement President Trump’s Executive Order 13780, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” which suspended the U.S. refugee program, banned entry into the U.S. for foreign nationals of six predominantly-Muslim countries, and called for increased scrutiny in background checks for all immigration programs. USCIS states that although the interview requirement will only extend to two new categories for now, the agency plans an incremental expansion to include other types of immigration benefits in the future.