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This Week In Immigration News: Return of Unselected H-1B Petitions and AOS Interview Policy Updates

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H-1B Update: Return of Unselected Petitions

USCIS has now completed data entry for all fiscal year 2019 H-1B cap-subject petitions that were selected in this year’s H-1B visa lottery. USCIS will begin the lengthy process of returning thousands of H-1B cap-petitions that were not selected in the lottery. Although USCIS has not provided a time frame on when they will begin returning unselected petitions, in previous years, our office began receiving unselected petitions in mid-June. All unselected petitions will include an official hard copy rejection notice from USCIS.

Updated Policy Guidance regarding Adjustment of Status interviews.

USCIS has revised its policy for adjustment of status interviews. All adjustment of status applicants must be interviewed by an officer unless USCIS determines that the interview is unnecessary. The decision to waive the adjustment of status interview is determined on a case-by-case basis.

In the following circumstances the adjustment of status interview may be waived:

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

  • Applicants who are clearly ineligible;
  • Unmarried children (under 21 years of age) of U.S. citizensif 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;
  • Asylees and refugees who were previously interviewed by a USCIS officer; 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.”

Other Circumstances under which Petitioners may not be required to attend the adjustment of status interview:

  • Where the petitioner is a military spouse who cannot appear in person because of deployment. However, in some cases USCIS may reschedule the interview so that both the military spouse petitioner and adjustment applicant can attend the interview before the petitioner is deployed
  • Where the U.S. Citizen spouse petitioner who cannot personally attend the interview because of their incarceration
  • Where the applicant or petitioner cannot attend due to serious illness or incapacitation (rare)

Please contact our office to learn more about how these changes may impact you.