In an effort to speed up case processing times, USCIS has been waiving many green card interviews. And when this happens, those who get their interviews waived can shave off months, if not years, off of their total application processing time.
So if you are in the process of applying for a green card, what are the ways that you can increase your chances of getting your interview away?
My name is Moumita Rahman and I have been an immigration attorney for the past 13 years. If you would like our assistance on your case, give us a call at 212-248-7907 to see if there's a way that we can help you move forward in your immigration journey. We are based in New York, but we work with immigrants all over the United States.
So what is the purpose of the immigration interview for a green card? And what exactly does USCIS look for during these interviews?
The USCIS Immigration interview is USCIS’s opportunity to inspect you, the applicant, to make sure that you are otherwise eligible for a green card and that nothing is in the way of you achieving your status. But USCIS also has a discretion to waive certain types of interviews. Namely, they do have the discretion to waive green card interviews and I-751 interviews.
And depending on the field office, they may decide to waive the interview when they believe they have enough evidence from you, the applicant, to show that you are actually eligible for the benefit that you are seeking.
Let's just say that you and your spouse are filing for an I-485 applications so that you can get your residency through the fact that you're married to a U.S. citizen or to a green card holder. What are some of the things that USCIS might look for that might increase the possibility of you getting scheduled for an interview?
The very first thing that might trigger an interview with USCIS is if you and your spouse live in separate locations. I understand that many people might live apart because of being in the military, because of jobs, or because of being in college. But to immigration, if you have two separate residences, that is actually a warning sign and can trigger you getting scheduled for an interview.
So how can you minimize the chance of getting scheduled for an interview if you and your spouse happen to live in two separate locations? Well, the obvious choice is to make sure you start living together before you start your application.
But I have also seen people get scheduled for interviews if they have two separate homes. For example, if you have vacation home somewhere else or a second property, If this is the case, I would probably advise you to decide which one is your true actual location that you live in—perhaps that is the location that you use for your tax filings—and I would probably encourage you to just stick to one location on your application next.
The other reason why you might get scheduled for an interview is if you have a complicated arrest history. As you might already know from watching my previous videos, if you have ever, ever been arrested by law enforcement anywhere in the world, you must disclose this information to immigration in your application. And nowadays what I see is that persons who might have a criminal history, who do not have the proper documents might get called in for an interview for further questioning.
So the way that you can increase your likelihood of getting your interview waived is to make sure that you obtain the proper documents to include with your case that show what the actual end result was, even if it meant that your case was dismissed or there was no prosecution. You must still provide immigration official proof of the disposition of your case.
And lastly, if you had ever committed any sort of immigration fraud, it means that your case would require a waiver. If you are applying for a marriage based green card or you have a qualifying U.S. relative, you would actually be eligible for a waiver depending on what happened and depending on a variety of things.
I would say that if you want to increase the chances of your interview getting waived, if you know that you are guilty of immigration fraud or misrepresentation and you know that you have a qualifying relative, then you may actually want to consider including that with your case when you file it, so that immigration can more quickly issue a decision. And they may not need to give you an interview just for the sole purpose of asking if you did in fact commit certain fraud and to tell you that you need a waiver.
So what is the number one sign that things are going well in your case and that immigration is most likely not going to ask you to appear for an interview?
It's if they send you the request for evidence for a medical exam, otherwise known as the I-693 medical exam. Although getting this request for evidence for a medical exam is not a 100% guarantee that your interview will be waived. To me, it is usually a good sign, and 99% of our clients have gotten their green cards approved without an interview where they have received this type of request for evidence.
You can even file your case with your medical exam nowadays, and that may also increase the likelihood of your case getting processed even faster. So if you haven't yet submitted your green card application, these are the tips that you should keep in mind about how to package your application and what to look out for and what to include.
And if course, if you have not yet submitted your green card application and are looking for legal assistance, give us a call at 212-248-7907.
And if you want to know more about these interview waivers, more about the immigration green card process, but how long it takes and whether this might apply to you, be sure to watch my other video interview waivers. I'll include a link to that video here. And if you enjoy this video, go ahead and give me a subscribe and share my video with your friends and family. Click on this link next, and I'll see you next time.
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