Starting from 1 October, the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) will interview in-person people holding certain visas such as H-1B who have been approved permanent residency in addition to refugees and those who have received asylum.
A spokesman for the USCIS confirmed on 25 August that this new requirement would be applicable to all people transitioning to legal permanent residency from one of the work visas, including visa holders of L, O and F-1.
The fiscal year 2015 saw close to 168,000 immigrants from one of these categories getting legal permanent residency, annual statistics revealed by the Department of Homeland Security said. Of these, approximately 122,000 shifted to a green card from one of the work visas.
This is a part of the plan of Donald Trump, the US President, to undertake ‘extreme vetting’ of the US immigrants and visitors.
Carter Langston, a spokesperson for USCIS, was quoted by Politico as telling it that the visa categories that would require interviews would amplify in the future, terming it ‘an incremental expansion.’ According to Langston, the policy is a component of a wider strategy to improve much more the fraud identification and prevention and security risks to their country.
William Stock, a Philadelphia-based attorney, said that the immigration service is of the view that it would most likely be a major waste of everybody’s time. This additional process is sure to increase wait times for applications of a green card.
Stephen Legomsky, former USCIS chief counsel from 2011 to 2013, also endorsed Stock’s view, doubting if the outcome of interviews would be fruitful at all.
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