By David Gottfried on October 30, 2017
Beginning October 2, 2017, all I-140-based adjustment of status applicants will be required to appear for an in-person interview at a USCIS Field Office.
Who will be interviewed? All individuals who filed I-140-based adjustment of status applications on or after March 6, will be interviewed. USCIS may waive the interview for children under the age of 14, but all family members will receive individualized interview notices regardless of age. Consistent with prior practice, approximately 5 to 10 percent of individuals who filed adjustment applications prior to March 6, 2017, will be interviewed.
Once the I-140 is approved, the interview will be at a USCIS field office. With the goal of ensuring the case is ready for favorable adjudication at the field office, the NBC will issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) on the I-485, if needed.
Field offices are not to re-adjudicate the petition. Field offices are directed to assess the validity of the supporting documents upon which the Service Center relied in approving the I-140, and to evaluate whether the evidence submitted to support the petition was accurate, bona fide, and credible. The applicant will be asked to explain where they will work, what they are going to do, and their educational background and experience. USCIS will also confirm that the employer still intends to employ the applicant and that the applicant still intends to take up employment.
If the field officer finds the evidence does not support the approval, he or she must send it and all associated I-485s back to the Service Center with a recommendation to revoke the I-140. USCIS advised that adjustment applicants should expect to be asked any question relating to admissibility and adjustment eligibility.
Be sure to carefully review any underlying PERM application (which may have been filed years ago) and the I-140 petition in detail. Clients must be able to articulate their education, experience, and the job described on the PERM/I-140, and confirm that their current position is in the same or a similar occupational classification.
Clients should be prepared to explain their entire immigration history.
What should the applicant bring to the interview? Interview notices issued for cases early in the new process are generic and include documents that are appropriate for family-based or marriage-based cases, rather than employment-based cases. This can easily cause confusion for clients and adjudicators. It is suggested that attorneys/clients bring the following documents to an employment-based adjustment interview:
Visa Bulletins. Bring the current Visa Bulletin to show eligibility for adjustment of status, or, if priority dates have retrogressed, bring the Visa Bulletin from the date the adjustment application was filed to show that the client was eligible when he or she filed.
Consider bringing copies of relevant regulations, excerpts from the USCIS Policy Manual, I-485 instructions, etc. to show that items listed in interview notices (such as the I-864 Affidavit of Support) are not required.
Evidence of Education/Experience. Bring documentary evidence demonstrating the adjustment applicant qualifies for the PERM/I-140 position, such as original diplomas, degrees, university transcripts, experience letters, and licenses/certificates, if applicable.
A complete copy of the I-140 supporting documentation may be advisable.
Copies of all SEVIS forms for individuals previously holding F or J status, and any accompanying employment authorization documents;
Printed travel history from the CBP I-94 Website;
Copies of all I-797 extension of status notices and EADs issued since filing the adjustment of status applications for all family members to show no unauthorized employment for more than 180 days before/after filing.
Copies of W-2s to show employment consistent with status. Consider bringing complete copies of the applicant’s tax returns to present them if requested.
Evidence of Bona Fide Family Relationships. In cases involving derivative family members, bring original marriage certificates (and proof that each party was free to marry, if applicable) and birth certificates for children, along with certified English translations if necessary.
Evidence of Current Employment: Bring recent paystubs and a letter from the employer confirming that the individual is employed in the same or a similar occupational classification.
Supplement J. Bring a new Supplement J, if there has been a position change and there is no approved Supplement J.