Yesterday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that pursuant to President Trump’s Executive Order 13780, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” it would begin requiring in-person interviews for adjustment of status applications based on employment effective October 1.

Currently, USCIS’s policy was to waive the in-person interview requirement with USCIS officers for employment based adjustment of status applicants. USCIS would simply adjudicate the petition on the merits of the evidence filed in support of it.

According to Acting USCIS Director James W. McCament,

This change reflects the Administration’s commitment to upholding and strengthening the integrity of our nation’s immigration system. USCIS and our federal partners are working collaboratively to develop more robust screening and vetting procedures for individuals seeking immigration benefits to reside in the United States.

It is USCIS’s position that conducting in-person interviews will provide USCIS officers with the opportunity to verify the information an application, to discover new relevant information that may affect adjudication, and to determine the credibility of the individual seeking permanent residence in the United States. It is unclear, however, how USCIS offices will manage this added burden given its current staffing shortages. It already takes most USCIS offices approximately 8 months to process adjustment of status cases once an office receives a file for family based petitions.