Guidance on Rescheduling a Green Card Interview

If you are the beneficiary of a family-based green card based on a petition filed by your U.S. citizen family member, you can be required to attend a green card interview. If you miss the green card interview, your case will be denied. However, if you need to reschedule your green card interview or if you have missed your green card interview, USCIS allows a solution to correct the problem. This article addresses USCIS’s guidance.

Request to Reschedule Interview: Biometrics

First, there are two types of appointments you will be required to undergo in a green card case through family. You will need to have a biometrics appointment then a green card interview. The biometrics interview will be set before the green card interview. If you need to change the date of the biometrics, simply follow the instructions on the notice (Form I-797). The instructions basically tell you to mail the original notice back to the local USCIS field office asking to change the date of the biometrics. Once you do that, you will receive a notice with a new date. Be sure to attend this biometrics as USCIS must have your fingerprints on file to issue your green card.

If you have missed the biometrics appointment through excusable neglect, you can be given a chance to reschedule. Disclaimer: this guidance is merely instructional. Do not miss your biometrics appointment without notifying USCIS in advance. USCIS local offices differ on how they treat a missed biometrics appointment. This advice is a last option for those who have missed their biometrics appointments due to exigent circumstances. If you have missed your biometrics appointment, schedule an info-pass appointment with the local USCIS office and explain the reasons you missed. Generally, they will let you go that same day and get your fingerprints taken. However, it is a risk and I do not recommend relying on any favors from USCIS. Once you have USCIS has taken your fingerprints, you will be required to attend your green card interview.

The Green Card Interview

The green card interview is a chance for USCIS to sit down with you and your U.S. citizen (or LPR) family member to discuss the relationship. If your green card is based on marriage to a U.S. citizen, USCIS will ask you questions regarding the bona-fides of the marriage. If you are a brother, sister, son or daughter, mother or father of a U.S. citizen, USCIS will ask questions regarding your family relationship and ensure that you are actually related in the manner indicated on the Form I-485. This is the last chance for USCIS to verify the bona fides of the relationship. If you do not show up to your interview, USCIS is required to deny the petition for abandonment. Hence, your attendance is absolutely mandatory. Therefore, the question arises: what do you do if you cannot attend the interview? USCIS offers the following guidance.

Request to Reschedule Interview: Green Card Interview

Prior to the date of the green card interview, you may either withdraw the petition or request to reschedule the interview based on good cause. USCIS’s guidance to its adjudicators indicates that in order to reschedule the interview, the adjudicator must be convinced that the applicant is unable to attend the scheduled date because of circumstances beyond his or her control. If the adjudicator finds good cause for the applicant’s inability to appear, the adjudicator will reschedule the green card interview and mail a new Form I-797C, Request for Applicant to Appear for Initial Interview. If, however, the adjudicator determines that no good cause exists, the adjudicator is instructed to deny the case for abandonment.

What is Good Cause?

At The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, we have been able to help our clients show USCIS grounds for good cause in rescheduling a green card interview. It is highly recommended to correspond with USCIS prior to the interview so that it may be rescheduled. Please do not miss the interview and try to reschedule later as this raises the bar for determining good cause. Call an experienced attorney today to discuss your options.

How to Contact Us

If you have questions about an immigration visa or green card matter, and/or you need help in an immigration process, please contact our immigration attorneys or call The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates Co., LPA at the nearest office close to you to consult with an attorney. Our law firm handles various specialty matters including arrival departure issues with your I-94, Green Cards and Permanent Residence, family immigration, immigrant visas, non-immigrant visas, employment visas and H1B visas, Investor Visas, PERM applications, and many more. Please contact us and experience how our law firm can assist you in your immigration matters. Whether you are an employer, an employee or a family member, The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA has competent, responsive and innovative lawyers who can make your immigration experience pleasant and seamless.