As if the processing of Green Card applications wasn’t taking long enough already, the US Immigration Authorities are now introducing an in-person interview segment within the process that is going to further delay the final attainment of permanent residency. This is said to apply to anyone who is requesting an adjustment of status from currently being under an employment-based visa like H1B, to permanent residency.
This is in line with the extreme vetting that the Trump government instituted as part of their strict immigration policies. Traditionally waived in the past, and although not every green card applicant may go through the interview process, it is now said to be part and parcel of the standard procedure meant to be implemented going forward. Even refugees, asylum seekers and family members thereof, will have to undergo this additional step of the in-person interview. This means applicants seeking provisional status before receiving the green card are also going to be subjected to the interview process. According to the executive order signed by President Trump, this additional step will be extended to all other categories in the near future.
Hailed as a necessary step in improving detection and preventing security risks to the US, this is bound to delay the already 12 year wait for permanent residency by another two years, thanks to the existing backlogs. The US government is currently processing applications filed in May of 2005. As per recent numbers, the Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) Labor Certification which is the first step in obtaining permanent residency is making a slow climb to 1,080 applications in August from barely 240 in July 2017. This is reflective of the delay in the current process. Trackitt gives updated statistics and monthly as well as yearly numbers of PERM approvals for 2017.
The interviews go into effect starting October 1, 2017. Path2usa.com enumerates the entire green card process.