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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced updated guidance (PDF, 319.68 KB) expanding the discretionary criteria USCIS officers use to determine whether to interview applicants filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, based on refugee or asylee status.

The updated criteria are well within the parameters of USCIS’ regulatory authority to determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether an interview is necessary to determine the admissibility of an alien applying for lawful permanent resident status under INA § 209. The updates do not change the eligibility requirements to adjust status.  

The list of interview criteria can be found in the Policy Manual, Volume 7, Part L, Chapter 5, Part B.  The updated list provides greater parity with the criteria USCIS applies in determining whether to interview other adjustment of status applicants. Each determination by USCIS to waive or require an interview will continue to be made at the discretion of the USCIS officer on a case-by-case basis. While the updated criteria may result in more applicants requested to appear for an interview, the changes are necessary to help ensure program integrity and support USCIS’ efforts to detect and prevent fraud and risks of harm to the United States.

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