EIG Dispatch | October 3, 2017

Feature Story: Practical Tips for the New Employment Based I-485 Interviews

US Headlines: Apply for an EAD and SSN Simultaneously through USCIS/ Trump’s Travel Restrictions Face New Challenges/ USCIS Resumes Premium Processing

Global Headlines: Salary Requirements Increased for Singapore Dependent Pass Eligibility/ Increase in B Permit Quotas in Switzerland

Dates of Note

October 1-7 Golden Week in China – Offices throughout China are closed this week due to the Golden Week Holiday.

October 5 DACA Renewal Deadline – Thursday is the last day to submit requests for DACA renewals for current beneficiaries whose benefits expire between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018.

October 9 Columbus Day – EIG’s offices will be closed.

Feature Story: Practical Tips for the New Employment Based I-485 Interviews

In August, USCIS announced that it will begin to conduct in-person interviews of applicants seeking employment-based green cards through adjustment of status. We later learned that USCIS is only interviewing those who filed their employment-based adjustment of status applications on or after March 5, 2017.

Last week, EIG released our FAQs on the new in-person interview requirement. While EIG will conduct a thorough preparation with you in advance of your interview, here are some quick practical tips on what how to prepare for an employment-based adjustment of status interview.

TIP 1 – Organize Your Documents in Advance

The USCIS officer will need to see numerous original documents in order to approve your application – including your birth certificate, original immigration documents and approvals, passport, and marriage certificate (if applicable), so have your documents organized. We recommend that you organize the original documents in an accordion style binder, so when the officer asks to see your birth certificate, you can produce it in seconds. The more organized you are for the interview, the happier this will make the interviewing officer, keeping in mind that he/she wants to complete the interview just as fast as you do.

TIP 2 – Wear Business Casual

We recommend wearing business causal attire for your interview.

TIP 3 – Bring a Book You will receive an interview notice with a time and date, but your interview is not guaranteed to start at the time listed on your notice. Similar to the DMV, you will be sitting in a large room with other green card applicants, waiting to be called. Some local USCIS offices are extremely efficient, and other unfortunately are not, and you may have to wait 1-2 hours for your interview. Bring a book, a magazine, an e-reader, etc. Some waiting rooms have restrictions on cell phone use, so do not expect to be productive while waiting to be called for your interview.

TIP 4 – Be Pleasant and Respectful It is important to be respectful to the officer, answering questions with a yes or no, as applicable, and being polite. The interview may be formal or informal, depending on the officer’s personality. Some officers will be extremely friendly and others may be all business. One thing officers have in common is that they likely have a full docket of interviews scheduled each day – ranging from 10-15 – so the more pleasant and respectful you can make the interview for them, the more it will improve your chances of getting out of your interview quickly, with a favorable adjudication.

TIP 5 – Don’t Expect an Immediate Decision Once the interview is concluded, the officer will let you know the next steps in the process. Some officers may have the authority to tell you the application has been approved, while other officers will have to get supervisory approval. If the latter, you should receive a written formal decision within a few weeks of the actual interview.

While these new interviews may be a great unknown for most applicants, hopefully these tips will help you feel more confident as you prepare you for your big day

US Headlines

Apply for an EAD and SSN Simultaneously using Revised USCIS Forms. Foreign nationals in certain categories can now skip the trip to their local Social Security office, and apply for a social security number within their application for an employment authorization. USCIS has revised Form I-765 to include additional questions that allow a work authorization applicant to simultaneously apply for a social security number. After receiving their EAD card, approved applicants can expect their Social Security Card within two weeks.

Trump’s Travel Restrictions Face New Challenges. On Monday, the Iranian Alliance Across Borders and the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, filed a Complaint in the U.S. District Court of the District of Maryland against the Trump Administration’s updated travel restrictions. The latest order changed the list of countries targeted for vetting to include North Korea, Chad, and Venezuela.

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing Service for All H-1B Visa Petitions. As anticipated, USCIS announced today that is has formally resumed premium processing services for all H-1B petitions including, but not limited to, new hires, extensions of stays, amendments, and change of employer petitions.

EIG attorneys will email Global Mobility contacts directly to devise the best strategy moving forward for pending and newly initiated cases. As always please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have.

Global Headlines:

Salary Requirements Increased for Singapore Dependent Pass Eligibility. Effective January 2018, Employment Pass holders in Singapore will need to earn at least SGD 6,000 per month for their spouse and children to be eligible for dependent passes (increased from SGD 5,000) and SGD 12,000 per month for their parents to be eligible for Long Term Visit Passes (increased from SGD 10,000 per month). Applications for initial passes or extensions submitted before January 2018 will be assessed on the current salary criteria.

Switzerland Announces Increase in B Permit Quotas. For the new Swiss Government fiscal year, which began Sunday, Swiss authorities have increased the B permit quota from 3,000 to 3,500. The L permit quota has remained the same. The increase in the B quota is not expected to impact eligibility requirements, with popular destinations like Zurich expected to maintain their high standards for work permit eligibility