Interview Waiver Guidance Revised for Petitions to Remove Conditions on Residence
This article was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Laura Danielson is an active member.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released a policy memorandum revising interview waiver guidance for Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. The guidance applies to all USCIS officers adjudicating Forms I-751, and supersedes previous guidance issued in 2005. The memo explains that in general, officers must interview a conditional permanent resident who has obtained lawful permanent resident status on a conditional basis and who is the principal petitioner on an I-751, unless the interview is waived. The new guidance addresses when officers may consider interview waivers.
The memo explains that USCIS officers may consider waiving an interview if they are satisfied that:
- They can make a decision based on the record because it contains sufficient evidence about the bona fides of the marriage and that the marriage was not entered into for the purpose of evading the immigration laws of the United States;
- For Form I-751 cases received on/after December 10, 2018, USCIS has previously interviewed the I-751 principal petitioner (for example, for a Form I-485 or Form I-130);
- There is no indication of fraud or misrepresentation in the Form I-751 or the supporting documentation; and
- There are no complex facts or issues that require an interview to resolve questions or concerns.
When determining whether to waive an interview, the considerations listed above apply regardless of whether the I-751 is filed as a joint petition or as a waiver of the joint filing requirement, the memo states. Cases involving fraud or national security concerns must be referred to the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate according to local procedures.