What’s going on with USCIS interviews now that they have begun reopening offices and rescheduling those appointments and implemented new protocols in response to COVID?
The USCIS offices have started the process. They started in July of rescheduling appointments that had been cancelled and also scheduling new appointments for individuals whose applications are in line. Some of the main changes that we have seen is that you’ll notice that when you get your interview notice, those changes will be listed in there as well.
But one of the main changes is that they’re asking that you not arrive more than 15 minutes before your scheduled interview. It’s always good to be early and on time. What we’ve recommended to our clients is if you arrive early, you can wait in your car or wait outside of the building and then go up 15 minutes before your interview.
They’re also asking that you bring your own pens. Black or blue ink is allowed. It’s also very important you have a face mask. We’ve all gotten pretty used to having to carry around our face masks and using those in public. It’s very important you have those or they won’t let you in the building.
We’ve received a lot of questions about what you should do if you get sick before your interview. The most important thing to know is that that’s not going to negatively impact you if you need to reschedule your interview. USCIS has asked that you don’t attend your interview for the safety of everyone.
If that happens, you’re asked to call USCIS at the customer service number. It would be listed on your interview notice as well and let them know so they can reschedule your interview when you’re better.
The other changes that we are seeing is that there’ll be a lot more plexiglass installed in the actual immigration offices across the desks. Two things are happening. They’re either going to put you in a room separate from the immigration officer where you’ll see the officer on a computer screen or on some type of screen and you’ll be in a separate room from the officer.
The other thing is they have a plexiglass barrier to separate the officer and you typically across their desk. If either one of those scenarios happens, you can be prepared for that.
Next, they’ll ask if you need to have an interpreter at your interview. The interpreter will not go with you to the interview. They would need to fill out a form that you would take with you and the officer will call your interpreter.
Another thing they’re asking is if attorneys can attend in person but they are suggesting that it’s best if we call in by phone. For our everyone’s safety, we are representing clients by phone. If you’re one of our clients, we’ve given you a letter that has our contact information on it. The officer calls us and then we can be able to represent you by phone. Those are just a few of the changes and suggestions for you to be aware of for the USCIS interviews.