The Department of Homeland Security announced on Aug. 28, 2017 that beginning on Oct. 1, USCIS will begin requiring in-person interviews at local district offices for adjustment of status applications based on employment, as well as certain refugee/asylee relative petitions.

In the past, USCIS did not require an in-person interview adjustment of status applications based on employment, and only conducted these interviews on rare, case-by-case bases.  The purpose of these interviews is to verify the information in the application, and to determine the credibility of the individual seeking permanent residence. As processing times at each service center have only gotten longer, EB-5 applicants may wish to consider going through the U.S. consulate or embassy for an immigrant visa and entering the U.S. in Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status. The current processing times for each service center processing Adjustment of Status applications based on employment are as follows – note that the state of residence determines which service center will adjudication the application:

The application to adjust status applications will need to first be processed by USCIS, after which it will be sent to the local district office for an interview to be scheduled. Due to the already backlogged timelines as indicated in the chart above, adding this extra step will further add to the processing times.

Immigrant visa processing at the U.S. consulate or embassy abroad, on the other hand, may take less time than filing for adjustment of status. Please note that if the applicant and his or her dependents are eligible for filing for adjustment of status, they will be able to receive work and travel authorization within 90-120 days of submission.

Please consult with your attorney as to the best strategy for each case. Greenberg Traurig is ready to assist with any queries related to this matter. Please subscribe to our blog for updates.