U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) expanded 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 guidance removes asylee and refugee adjustment cases from the list of categories in which USCIS may waive the required interview.

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 agency said, noting that the updates do not change the eligibility requirements to adjust status.  Although 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,” the agency said.

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