Certain Conditional Permanent Residents Eligible for Interview Waiver
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently provided updated guidance for officers regarding waiving the interview requirement for a Petition to Remove Conditions of Residence.
Conditional permanent residency is granted to qualifying foreign nationals who have been married to their qualifying spouse for less than two years. After a period of two years, a conditional permanent resident must petition to have these conditions removed or face losing their Green Card entirely, as this conditional card cannot be renewed. Generally, in order to complete the process necessary to remove conditions, an officer must interview a conditional permanent resident. However, there are some exceptions, which the recent guidance delves into.
According to USCIS, officers have some discretion to decide if they can waive the interview requirement. They are required to follow certain criteria to make a judgement of whether the interview should be waived or if it is necessary. A USCIS officer must be satisfied that the following conditions are met:
- The officer is able to make a decision based on the current record because it contains sufficient evidence regarding the bona fides of the marriage and the marriage was not entered into fraudulently for the purpose of avoiding U.S. immigration laws;
- USCIS previously interviewed the principle petitioner for these cases that were received on or after December 10, 2018;
- There is no indication of any fraud or misrepresentation on any forms or supporting documentation; and
- There are no complex facts or issues that necessitate an interview to clear up any questions or concerns.
Officers are required to go through the above criteria for every instance they are deciding whether or not to grant a waiver for this particular interview. Additionally, all cases that involve any kind of fraud of national security concerns must be referred to the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate.
If you have questions about this topic or other immigration matters, feel free to contact Berardi Immigration Law today to speak with an attorney!