USCIS has begun exercising case-by-case discretion in waiving in-person interviews for certain adjustment of status applicants.
As background, on October 1, 2017, and onward, the prior administration began requiring that all adjustment of status applications based on employment be interviewed prior to adjudicating each application. By mid-2021, USCIS is exercising its discretion to waiver such interviews on a case-by-case basis and in significant numbers. Some approvals occurred based solely on an officer’s review of the application and its supporting evidence. And other adjustment approvals occurred within a short period after the applicant responded to a Request for Evidence issued by USCIS. Prior to October, 2017, almost no employment based adjustment of status case was referred for interview absent a concern for fraud or other irregularity.
This is good news in light of the crushing backlog of cases caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.