In Light of COVID-19 Office Closures, USCIS Can Approve Adjustment of Status Without an Interview

With luck, and by following USCIS instructions for sending in final documents, you might be granted a green card with no interview.

By , J.D.


There's been no official announcement from the U.S. government, but some possible good news nonetheless. Attorneys are reporting that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been approving some family- and employment-based adjustment of status cases without first scheduling an interview. In legal terms, USCIS is "waiving" the in-person interview requirement for some, using only written evidence to approve the applicant for U.S. residence (a green card).

Owing to the COVID-19 or coronavirus pandemic, USCIS offices across the United States are closed for in-person visits, interviews included. Thus the only way an applicant is likely to obtain a U.S. green card in the months ahead is to receive an interview waiver.

This waiver isn't, unfortunately, something the approved applicants asked for. Nor can you ask for an interview waiver, as much as you might want to. USCIS appears to be choosing to grant the waiver of its own accord, in straightforward, clearcut cases.

Some applicants have reportedly gotten a bit of a heads-up that a waiver might be coming, when USCIS sent a request for documents that are normally of the sort brought to the adjustment interview in person. Medical exam reports are a prime example.

The most you can do, it appears, is to keep an eye on your mail for a mailing from USCIS known as a Request for Evidence or RFE. If you receive one, read and follow its instructions carefully (with help from How to Handle a Request for Evidence (RFE) From USCIS.)

With any luck, you'll receive approval for permanent residence not long after USCIS has received and reviewed your materials.

Effective Date: April 16, 2020