Uscis interview letter

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Interviews with USCIS are a normal part of the green card application process, allowing the agency to confirm the information you and your petitioner have provided on the petition and your application for adjustment of status and review all the facts with you present.

If you are have applied for lawful permanent residence (a green card) within the United States through the procedure known as "adjustment of status," you are likely, as the last step in your application process, to be called in for an interview by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). With proper preparation, this is not something to fear.

Who Gets Called in to the USCIS Interview

Do not worry that being called in for an adjustment of status interview means that your application for adjustment of status has been singled out for extra scrutiny. Interviews are a normal part of the process, allowing USCIS to confirm the information you and your petitioner have provided on the petition and your application for adjustment of status and review all the facts with you present.

USCIS skips the interview in a few cases, or requires only the immigrant (and not the family petitioner/sponsor) to attend, but only when the case is especially clear-cut and not likely to involve fraud or other complicated circumstances.

The petitioning employer in a work-based application will not be required to attend the interview; only the immigrant.

If you applied to adjust status based on marriage to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, you can count on you and your U.S. spouse both being called in for the USCIS interview. This is to ensure that the marriage is genuine and not merely entered into for the purpose of obtaining a green card.

How Long the Adjustment Interview Will Last

The typical adjustment of status interview lasts about 20 minutes. However, you might wait in the waiting room much longer than that before the USCIS officer calls you in.

Be sure to have a full meal beforehand, as you are not allowed to bring food into the building. Also, if you're a smoker, be warned that USCIS faciliities are "smoke free."

What the Adjustment Interview Will Cover

The USCIS officer who calls you in to his or her desk will begin by swearing you in (asking you to stand and raise your right hand and promise to tell the truth) and checking your photo identification. Then the officer will look at your file, asking you questions off your forms in some cases (such as your address and place of birth), simply to confirm that you are the person in the application and that your personal information hasn't changed.

The officer will also ask to see the documents that you brought along, to verify their validity and make sure you are still eligible for the green card. If, for example, you were applying to immigrate as the unmarried son or daughter or a U.S. green card holder, and you stated that you recently got married, the officer would find you ineligible, and deny your application. A similar result might occur if you had recently been convicted of a crime.

If your green card application is employment-based, you can expect to be questioned about your job, your qualifications, and your employer.

Family-based green card applicants will typically be questioned about their sponsor and relationship with the sponsor. The officer will want to confirm that the immigrant and sponsor have a genuine relationship and that the sponsor has not sponsored someone merely to enable them to get a green card.

If you are applying based on marriage, the officer will also ask questions about your how you met, your relationship, and your marriage. For details, see What Happens at The Green Card Marriage Interview?

What to Bring to the Interview

Review the USCIS interview notice for a list of what it expects you to have with you. In addition to assembling everything on that list, make sure to bring along:

  • A complete copy of your I-130 petition and adjustment of status application. The officer will be looking at these documents, and you will have an easier time following along if you have them as well. Plus, if something is missing from your file, your copies may become an important piece of the total picture.
  • Any other travel documents, for example your advance parole permit if you traveled while awaiting your interview.
  • Your passport, which will contain the nonimmigrant visa with which you entered the U.S. (unless you entered without inspection, but if so, it's unlikely you are eligible to adjust status).
  • Originals of any documents that you submitted copies of to USCIS, such as birth and marriage certificates, so that the officer can examine whether they are the real thing.
  • Doctor's report from your required medical examination on Form I-693 (if you did not submit this report with the original adjustment application).
  • If applying based on employment, an up-to-date letter from your employer documenting continued employment at the specified salary (or more).
  • If applying based on marriage, copies plus originals of documents showing your shared life, such as a joint lease or mortgage, joint bank account or credit card statements, children's birth certificates, and so on.

The officer will want to know if there are any changes in your life since the application for adjustment of status that could affect your status, so bring any documentation to back up these changes (original and copy for the file). Examples include the birth certificate of any recently born children, evidence of the family petitioner's new employer, and so forth.

You can have your attorney accompany you. (The attorney will file Form G-28 Notice of Appearance).

What Happens at the End of the Interview

If all goes well, USCIS will approve you for permanent residence, and place an "I-551" stamp in your passport. You don't receive the green card that day; it will come some weeks later.

If the officer cannot approve your case that day, he or she will likely ask for additional documents to deal with whatever the problem is. You will have a deadline by which to submit these. After you do so, the officer will send you a decision on your application by mail.


Receiving that interview notice from USCIS is a momentous step in one’s immigration case.  At the end of your interview, you could be on your way to permanent residence or U.S. Citizenship.  It is helpful to know what to expect and how to prepare.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) interviews immigrants on several different types of applications.  These include adjustment of status (also known as permanent residence or a “green card” application), U.S. naturalization, I-130 petitions for immigrant family members, and I-751 petitions to remove conditions on residence.   This blog post will cover the first two applications, which are the most common reasons for a USCIS interview.

Prior to the interview, you will have mailed your application to USCIS, along with as much supporting evidence as possible.  At our office, we always review the application instructions to understand what evidence USCIS requires, and we provide as much evidence as is available at the time we file the application.  In most cases, you will have already attended a short “biometrics” appointment at a USCIS Application Support Center, at which USCIS takes your fingerprints and photograph.   USCIS will typically provide about a month’s notice of your upcoming interview.

Preparation for the Interview

When you receive your interview notice, pay close attention to the date, time and location of the interview.  In the Boston area, for example, there are two USCIS Field Offices that conduct interviews, in Boston and Lawrence.  You will want to make sure that you attend your interview at the correct office.

For permanent residence applicants, you will want to be sure that you submitted all of the required supporting evidence to USCIS, and if you did not, you should gather it now, make copies, and be prepared to provide those copies to USCIS.  If you have not already completed and submitted your I-693 medical exam, you should get that scheduled right away, and be ready to bring the exam results to your interview.

If you need an interpreter, you should arrange for that right away.  Applicants are required to provide their own interpreter; this is not something that USCIS provides.  An interpreter must not be connected to your immigration case; for example, if you’re applying for permanent residence through your marriage, your spouse cannot be your interpreter.  The ideal scenario is to hire a professional and experienced interpreter to come with you to your interview.  During COVID-19 protocols, the interpreter should appear by phone.

For citizenship applicants, you will want to practice the civics test questions that you will be asked at your interview.  USCIS picks from a list of 100 questions.  You must get 6 out of 10 questions correct to pass.  The list of questions is available on the USCIS website.

In most cases, a citizenship applicant will not be allowed to use an interpreter.  There are exceptions for people with disabilities, for people who are at least 50 years old and have had permanent residence for at least 20 years, and for people who are at least 55 years old and have had permanent residence for 15 years. 

To prepare for the interview, you should review all of the questions on the forms that you sent to USCIS.  The officer will go through these questions with you, so you should be familiar with them.  The forms contain pages and pages of questions about your history.  If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you should consult with an immigration attorney about the impact this may have on your application and your immigration status.

If you need to update your answers to any of the questions on the forms (for example, changes in address, job or travel history), you should type up and print your answers on a page that you can present to the officer at the beginning of your interview.  If you have changed your address since the time you filed your application, you should notify USCIS of this immediately, using their electronic system.  

You should bring your original documents to your interview, including your passport, immigration documents, birth certificate, marriage certificate, and divorce decrees (if applicable).  Depending on your individual case, there may be other original documents that you should bring with you to your interview.

 What if I need to reschedule?

If the interview is scheduled on a day that you just cannot attend, it is possible to request rescheduling.  Acceptable reasons to reschedule include medical or health reasons, pre-planned travel, or urgent work or family obligations that cannot be rescheduled.  A request to reschedule your interview could delay your case, so you should only reschedule if you absolutely must.  In most cases, the delay will usually only involve a few weeks, but sometimes it is much longer.

At the current time, the only way to reschedule an interview is by calling the USCIS Contact Center at (800) 375-5283.  In addition to calling the Contact Center, it is also a good idea to send a letter to the local USCIS office, confirming that you have requested rescheduling through the Contact Center.

If, on the day of your interview, you are sick, you should make every effort to call the Contact Center to reschedule.  If you are not able to call, due to serious illness or hospitalization, you should call as soon as you’re able, and also send a letter to the local USCIS office, explaining your absence at your interview.  Do not go to your USCIS interview if you are sick. 

On your interview day

On the day of your interview, you should plan to be at the USCIS office at least 20 minutes before your interview.  You should dress as if you’re attending a job interview or other important function.  Although these interviews are often short, you should plan to spend two to three hours at the USCIS office.  Thus, you should make arrangements with your job and your childcare provider for this.  To enter the USCIS office, you will be required to pass through a security detector.  During COVID-19, you will be asked questions about your out-of-state travel, as well as any COVID symptoms or exposure.  You are required to wear a face mask at all times, and it is recommended that you also carry anti-bacterial gel and your own pen with you.

After arriving and passing through security, you should check in at the USCIS office by presenting your interview letter to the officer at the front desk.  The officer will scan and stamp your interview notice, make a notation in their computer system that you are present, and they may also issue you a number that the USCIS officer will use to call you when it is your turn to be interviewed.

After a wait that could be anywhere from 5 minutes to over an hour, an officer will call you into a smaller, more private office to conduct your interview.  (If you are waiting more than 30 minutes at USCIS, you can politely inquire at the front desk regarding the delay).  Once in the office, the USCIS officer will ask you to remain standing and will place you under oath.  After administering the oath, the officer will ask to see your passport, permanent resident card (if applicable), and other identification, if available.  Usually, the officer will take your fingerprint and photo, using portable equipment on their desk.  Your immigration file may be a paper file or a digital file.  The officer will have the file on their desk or in their computer, and will review it during the interview.

Citizenship Interviews

For citizenship interviews, you will be expected to attend the interview alone, unless you qualify for an interpreter, as discussed above.  After the COVID-19 pandemic has ended, it is possible that USCIS will change the format of this interview and split it up into two or three sections.  If this were to happen, parts of the interview would occur in the waiting room at a counter, and at least one part of the interview would be conducted in a private room.  However, as of the date of this post, the full interview is conducted at one time in one private office.

During the first part of the interview, the officer will ask you the civics questions, and will also ask you to read and write in English, using an electronic tablet.  

If you pass these tests, the officer will then go through your citizenship application with you, repeating many of the questions that you answered when you filled out the form.  If there are corrections, the officer will note those in their computer, and at the end of the interview, they will ask you to approve of their corrections.

At the end of the interview, the officer will ask you to sign a statement that you understand and agree to the oath of allegiance, that all of the biographical information on your expected naturalization certificate is correct, and that you approve of edits and additions to your citizenship application.  This is typically done on the same electronic tablet that is also used for your English test.

If the officer recommends approval of your application, they will notify you of this and provide you with a written decision.  During COVID, USCIS will often conduct same-day oath ceremonies.  If they are not conducting a same-day oath ceremony, they will either provide you with a notice of the date and time of your oath ceremony, or they will mail that to you later.

If the officer needs to review your file further, they will give you a written notice of this, and then you must wait to hear from USCIS about your case.  If you do not pass the English or civics test, you will be called back after 60 days to take these tests again.

Adjustment of Status Interviews

For adjustment interviews based on a family petition, your petitioner must appear at the interview with you.  If you are adjusting status based on marriage, you should know that USCIS in Massachusetts typically interviews each spouse separately about their relationship.  (Other USCIS offices have varying policies regarding separation of spouses).  The officer will ask specific questions about your relationship and your life together, and will compare the answers between you and your spouse to ensure that the answers match reasonably well. 

The officer will also go through your adjustment application with you, repeating many of the questions that you answered when you filled out the form.  If there are corrections, the officer will note those in their computer, and at the end of the interview, they will ask you to approve of their corrections.  The officer may also ask to see your original documents, even if you provided copies when you filed your immigration forms.

If you have additional supporting evidence, you can provide it to the officer either at the beginning or end of the interview.  Many officers will ask you if you have any additional evidence to provide.  For marriage-based adjustment cases, it is a good idea to bring additional evidence that your marriage was in good faith.

At the end of the interview, the officer will ask you to sign a statement attesting that your application is true and correct, and approving of any edits or changes to the application.  It is common for the officer not to inform you of their decision in your case at the time of the interview.  Often, they need to review your file further before making a decision.  Some officers will let you know if they plan to recommend approval of your case, and you can certainly ask the officer at the end of the interview about how they are inclined to decide your case.  If the officer seems to have reservations about your case, you should ask for more information, as there may be documents or an explanation that you can provide that will help them in making their decision.

If the officer approves your application, you will typically receive your green card around 10 days after the interview.  If you sign up for e-mail case updates on the USCIS website, you will get an e-mail when your card has been mailed, with U.S. Post Office tracking information.   

If the officer needs to review your file further, you will wait to hear from USCIS about your case at a later date.  Sometimes the officer needs additional documents or information from you, and will issue you a Request for Evidence, explaining what is needed and the deadline for providing it.  Responding to a Request for Evidence is critical to the success of your case and you should take the filing deadline very seriously.

What if my case is denied?

If your application is denied, USCIS should provide you with a written notice that explains the reasons for this.  In some cases, you can appeal the decision, but you will have a very short window of time to make that appeal.  You should read correspondence from USCIS very carefully to understand your obligations and deadlines.

What if my case is approved?

If your case is approved, congratulations!  Be sure to make copies of your green card or naturalization certificate, in case you need to replace these documents in the future. 

The above is not legal advice and should not be acted upon as such.  USCIS applications can be complicated, and carry serious consequences.  We recommend consultation with counsel prior to proceeding.

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U.S. Visas

Who Must Attend the Interview

You, your spouse, and any qualified unmarried children immigrating with you, must participate in the interview. All traveling applicants required to participate will be named on the interview Appointment Letter you receive from the National Visa Center (NVC).

If your spouse and/or qualified unmarried children will immigrate at a later date and travel separately from you, they are not required to participate in your interview. They will be scheduled for a separate interview appointment. You should contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate directly to arrange separate interviews, if needed.

Your sponsor/petitioner does not attend the visa interview.

What to bring to the Interview

The applicant is responsible to bring all required original or certified copy civil documents to the visa interview. Failure to bring all required documents to the interview may cause delay or denial of the visa.  You must bring the following documents to the interview:

  • Appointment Letter – The interview appointment letter you received from NVC.
  • Passport – For each applicant, an unexpired passport valid for six months beyond the intended date of entry into the United States
  • Photographs – two identical color photograph(s) for each applicant, which must meet the general Photograph Requirements.
  • DS-260 Confirmation Page
  • Supporting Documents – original or certified copies of all civil documents you uploaded into CEAC. 

Your original documents will be returned to you when the interview has been completed. Any photocopies provided may be kept.

  • English Translations – If documents requiring English translation were not sent to NVC, you must obtain them and present them on the day of your interview. For more information please review the U.S. Embassy or Consulate interview preparation instructions. 
  • Visa Fees – If your visa application fees were collected by NVC, you do not need to pay again. However, if you or any family member did not pay all the necessary fees, you will be asked to pay any unpaid fees at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  

Failure to Appear for Interview - If you cannot appear at your scheduled interview, contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate as soon as possible.  If you do not contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate within one year of receiving your interview appointment letter, your case may be terminated and your immigrant visa petition cancelled, and any fees paid will not be refunded.

Need to change the interview date and time - Instructions to reschedule your appointment are available at U.S. Embassy or Consulate interview preparation instructions.


What should I do if I missed my green card interview?

Boundless Ask an Immigration Attorney

What should I do if I missed my green card interview?

If an applicant has missed their green card interview, there are generally two options for rescheduling.

The first option is to reach out to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Contact Center by phone. The caller should be ready with their alien registration number, and Form I-485 (adjustment of status application) receipt number. When the applicant has spoken to an agent at USCIS, they should ask explicitly to be escalated to a Tier 2 officer.

The second option is to write a letter. When writing the letter, the applicant will typically include all their contact information, as well as their A-number (alien registration number) and the receipt number for the adjustment of status application (Form I-485). If the applicant has proof that they filed a Change of Address (Form AR-11) at any point, they should also include a copy of the confirmation with their letter. A copy of the I-797 receipt notice for the Form I-485 should also be included. Typically the letter is not long — it should clearly explain why the interview was missed, and any pertinent information explaining the situation.

The applicant can keep a copy of the letter for their own records, and it’s generally a good idea to maintain tracking on the letter so they know when it has been received.


Letter uscis interview

What to Expect at your Adjustment of Status Interview at USCIS
I-485 Interview

First of all, don’t get anxious just because U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) sent you an appointment notice for an I-485 interview. Almost everyone must go through an interview during the adjustment of status process. In fact, there’s reason to get excited. The I-485 interview is likely the last step in your application process. If all goes well, you’ll be a permanent resident (green card holder) at the end of the interview.

Interviews are a standard part of the process after filing Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status. The I-485 interview is almost a certainty if you submitted an adjustment of status application on the basis of marriage. USCIS may waive the interview for some applicants with especially straight forward cases with strong evidence. But this is the exception.

Who Attends Adjustment of Status Interview

USCIS will generally schedule the interview at an office nearest you. In some areas of the country, this may require a long drive and an overnight stay. For family-based I-485 applications, USCIS generally requires both the applicant and petitioner to attend the I-485 interview. They will make a decision to waive the interview on a case-by-case basis. You can’t request USCIS to waive the interview, and you should always expect one for marriage-based applications. In some non-marriage based cases, USCIS may require only the applicant to attend the adjustment of status interview. However, USCIS does not require employers to attend interviews for employment-based I-485 applications.

Derivative applicants should also expect to attend. If you have a spouse and children that are applying for permanent residence based on your eligibility, they are known as derivative applicants and must appear regardless of the filing category.

Use of an Interpreter

An applicant who is not fluent in English may require the help of an interpreter for the I-485 interview. Also known as a translator, the interpreter should be a disinterested party. In other words, the interpreter should not have a clear bias. For example, the petitioner has a bias to see your application approved and is typically not a satisfactory interpreter. However, you don’t necessarily need to pay someone to translate. An immigration officer may exercise discretion to allow a friend of the applicant to act as interpreter. If the officer is fluent in the applicant’s preferred language, the officer may conduct the examination in that language without use of an interpreter.

The interpreter should take a valid, government-issued identity document and a prepared Form G-1256 (Declaration for Interpreted USCIS Interview) to USCIS on the day of the I-485 interview. The applicant and interpreter both sign Form G-1256 at the interview in front of the officer.

The USCIS officer may disqualify an interpreter provided by the applicant if the officer believes the integrity of the examination is compromised by the interpreter’s participation or the officer determines the interpreter is not competent to translate. 

Items to Take to Interview

The USCIS appointment notice will include a list of items to take to your I-485 interview. Follow the directions on your appointment notice, but this list will get you prepared for the I-485 interview. You should expect to take the following items:

  • A government-issued photo identification such as a passport (even if expired) but can also be any other government-issued photo ID like a driver’s license.
  • Appointment notice (I-797C, Notice of Action) for your I-485 interview.
  • A complete copy of your adjustment of status application package. In addition to Form I-485, have available any other forms (e.g. I-130, I-130A, I-864, I-131, I-765) you may have submitted.
  • Originals of any supporting documents that you submitted to USCIS with the adjustment of status application. Especially important examples include birth, marriage and death certificates as well as divorce decrees (if applicable).
  • Your passport (unless you are in certain categories such as refugee/asylum).
  • Any other travel documents, for example your advance parole permit if you traveled while awaiting your interview.
  • Doctor’s report from your required medical examination on Form I-693 (if you did not submit this report with the original adjustment application).
  • If applying based on employment, an up-to-date employment verification letter from your employer, documenting continued employment at a specified salary.
  • If applying based on marriage, copies plus originals of documents showing your shared life, such as a joint lease or mortgage, joint bank account or credit card statements, children’s birth certificates, and so on.

The USCIS officer will likely ask if you have any life changes that may affect your adjustment of status application. The officer is looking for anything that may change an answer on your application. Some examples include the birth of a child, new employer, or new address. If your changes include an arrest or other immigration issues, speak to an immigration attorney before attending your I-485 interview.

RECOMMENDED:Adjustment of Status Denial Due to Changes in Circumstances

Typical Questions at an I-485 Interview

The typical adjustment of status interview lasts approximately 20 to 25 minutes. After introductions and swearing in, that doesn’t leave much time for questioning. It’s also not necessary to memorize answers to any questions. For the most part, the USCIS will ask you questions about your application and ask you to verify or explain certain answers. If you’ve truthfully answered questions on Form I-485, there’s no reason to be nervous or anxious.

For applicants that filed an adjustment of status application based on spousal relationship, the questions may get slightly more personal. USCIS wants confirmation that the marriage is bona fide. In other words, they will scrutinize the application more to make sure there’s no marriage fraud. But again, as long as you can be truthful, they are simple questions and answers.

Sample I-485 Interview Questions for Spouses
  • How, when and where did you meet your spouse?
  • Where and with whom did your spouse live when you met your spouse?
  • Who lives at your address now?
  • What is your spouse’s date of birth?
  • Where did your spouse work when you met him/her?
  • What type of work does your spouse do?
  • What is your spouse’s work schedule?
  • How much is your spouse’s salary?
  • Are both spouses’ salaries deposited into the same bank account?
  • What bank account do you use?
  • Did your spouse have a car when you met? What model, color, etc?
  • Are these the cars you and your spouse current drive?
  • If not, when did you and/or your spouse change cars?
  • If you now have cars, how much money is owed on them? How much is the monthly payment?
  • When did you and your spouse decide to get married? Was there a proposal? Who proposed? When and where did it take place?
  • Did you and your spouse live together prior to your marriage? Where and how long?
  • When did you and your spouse move in together?
  • When did you get married?
  • If you had a celebration, what food/beverages were served?
  • Did you and your spouse go on a honeymoon? If yes, where?
  • Who pays the rent/mortgage? How is it paid? (Do you mail it? Hand-deliver it?)
  • Where does your landlord live?
  • How many sleeping rooms does your home have?
  • Are all the sleeping rooms on the same side of the home?
  • What size bed do you and your spouse have?
  • Can you describe the pieces of furniture in your bedroom?

This is a small sampling of possible questions. In practice, USCIS may ask a wide variety of questions to help make a determination if you and your spouse have a bona fide marriage.

After the Interview

i-551 permanent resident stamp after i485 interview

If everything goes well at your adjustment of status interview, the USCIS officer will approve your I-485 application. In some cases the officer may be able to place an “I-551 stamp” inside your passport. Regardless, USCIS will process the new green card and mail it to your address on record.

However, not all adjustment of status interviews end with a decision. The USCIS officer may tell you that you will receive a decision in the mail. Don’t be discouraged. This isn’t unusual.

It’s also possible that a USCIS officer cannot approve your case because additional evidence is required. If USCIS requests additional evidence, be certain to submit the documentation requested by the deadline issued. USCIS will send you a decision by mail.

If it’s been 90 days since your I-485 interview and you still don’t have a decision, call USCIS at 1-800-375-5283 to schedule an InfoPass appointment. It’s important to follow up.

About CitizenPath

CitizenPath provides simple, affordable, step-by-step guidance through USCIS immigration applications. Individuals, attorneys and non-profits use the service on desktop or mobile device to prepare immigration forms accurately, avoiding costly delays. CitizenPath allows users to try the service for free and provides a 100% money-back guarantee that USCIS will approve the application or petition. We provide support for the Adjustment of Status Application (I-485), Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130), and several other immigration services.

Note to Reader: This post was originally published on January 23, 2018, and has been modified with improvements.

Source: USCIS


Chapter 5 - Interview Guidelines

All adjustment of status applicants must be interviewed by an officer unless the interview is waived by USCIS.[1]The decision to waive the interview should be made on a case-by-case basis. The interview enables USCIS to verify important information about the applicant to determine eligibility for adjustment. For family-based applications, USCIS generally requires the Form I-130 petitioner to appear for the interview with the principal adjustment of status applicant. In addition, derivatives are also required to appear regardless of the filing category.

During the interview, the officer verifies that the applicant understood the questions on the application and provides the applicant with an opportunity to revise any answers completed incorrectly or that have changed since filing the application. Any unanswered questions or incomplete answers on the application are resolved at the interview. If information is added or revised, the applicant should re-sign and date the application at the conclusion of the interview.[2]

A. Waiving the Interview

1. General Waiver Categories

USCIS officers may determine, on a case-by case-basis, that it is unnecessary to interview certain adjustment of status applicants. When determining whether to waive an interview, an officer must consider all relevant evidence in the applicant’s record.

The following list includes, but is not limited to, categories of cases where officers may decide to waive an interview:[3]

  • Applicants who are clearly ineligible;[4]

  • Unmarried children (under 21 years of age) of U.S. citizens if they filed a Form I-485 on their own (or filed a Form I-485 together with their family’s adjustment applications and every applicant in that family is eligible for an interview waiver);

  • Parents of U.S. citizens; and

  • Unmarried children (under 14 years of age) of lawful permanent residents if they filed a Form I-485 on their own (or filed a Form I-485 together with their family’s adjustment applications and every applicant in that family is eligible for an interview waiver). 

If USCIS determines, however, that an interview for an applicant in any of the above categories is necessary, an officer conducts the interview. Likewise, if USCIS determines that an interview of an applicant in any other category not listed above is unnecessary, then USCIS may waive the interview.[5]

2. Military Personnel Petitioners

USCIS may waive the personal appearance of the military spouse petitioner; however, the adjustment applicant must appear for an interview. USCIS makes every effort to reschedule these cases so that both the petitioner and adjustment applicant can attend the interview before deployment. The adjustment applicant may choose to proceed while the petitioner is abroad.

3. Incarcerated Petitioners

USCIS may waive the personal appearance of a U.S. citizen spouse petitioner who is incarcerated and unable to attend the adjustment of status interview. In these situations, the adjustment applicant must appear for an interview. An officer must take all the facts and evidence surrounding each case into consideration on a case-by-case basis when deciding whether to waive the U.S. citizen spouse petitioner’s appearance.

4. Illness or Incapacitation

An officer may encounter instances in which it may be appropriate to waive the personal appearance of an applicant or petitioner due to illness or incapacitation. In all such instances, an officer must obtain supervisory approval to waive the interview.

B. Relocating Cases for Adjustment of Status Interviews

Unless USCIS determines that an interview is unnecessary, the case should be relocated to the field office with jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence once the case is ready for interview. 

The reasons for requiring an interview may include: 

  • Need to confirm the identity of the applicant;

  • Need to validate the applicant’s immigration status;

  • The applicant entered the United States without inspection, or there are other unresolved issues regarding the applicant’s manner of entry;

  • There are known criminal inadmissibility or national security concerns that cannot be resolved at a service center;

  • There are fraud concerns and the service center recommends an interview;

  • The applicant’s fingerprints have been rejected twice;

  • The applicant has a Class A medical condition that the service center cannot resolve through a Request for Evidence (RFE);

  • The applicant answered “Yes” to any eligibility question on the adjustment application, and the service center cannot determine eligibility through an RFE; or

  • The service center has not been able to obtain an applicant’s A-File, T-File, or receipt file (when the applicant has multiple files).

C. Interpreters

An applicant may not be fluent in English and may require use of an interpreter for the adjustment interview. At the adjustment interview, the interpreter should: 

  • Present his or her valid government-issued identity document and complete an interpreter’s oath and privacy release statement; and

  • Translate what the officer and the applicant say word-for-word to the best of his or her ability without adding the interpreter’s own opinion, commentary, or answer.

In general, a disinterested party should be used as the interpreter. An officer may exercise discretion, however, to allow a friend or relative of the applicant to act as interpreter. If the officer is fluent in the applicant’s preferred language, the officer may conduct the examination in that language without use of an interpreter. 

USCIS reserves the right to disqualify an interpreter provided by the applicant if the officer believes the integrity of the examination is compromised by the interpreter’s participation or the officer determines the interpreter is not competent to translate. 


[^ 1] See 8 CFR 209.1(d), 8 CFR 209.2(e), and 8 CFR 245.6.

[^ 2] See 8 CFR 103.2(b)(7). 

[^ 3] See 8 CFR 245.6. USCIS is not required to waive the interview, even if an applicant falls within one of the categories listed in 8 CFR 245.6 or in this section.

[^ 4] See 8 CFR 245.6 (refers to adjustment applicants clearly ineligible for adjustment of status based on INA 245(c) and 8 CFR 245.1). 

[^ 5] Before waiving an interview for any adjustment applicant, officers should ensure that the record does not meet any of the criteria for requiring an interview. See Section B, Relocating Cases for Adjustment of Status Interviews [7 USCIS-PM A.5(B)].


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