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What Is the Time Frame for Getting an Interview with USCIS?

Over the last decade or so, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been modernizing its notification system for the convenience of all users. In the past, the agency used to notify applicants about upcoming interviews, if required, by means of mailed notices. These days, foreigners seeking visas and other USCIS benefits are more likely to learn about interviews when they go online to check their status. This is also a task many San Diego immigration lawyers complete for their clients. 

Understanding the Status of Your Application

When you see “case is ready to be scheduled for interview” as the status of your USCIS petition or application, this would be a good time to celebrate with friends and loved ones because it means the paperwork, supporting documents, and fee payments have been received, reviewed, and approved. This is the point when you no longer have to worry about the dreaded “request for evidence” notices that delay the process, but you still don’t know when the interview will actually take place.

The aforementioned USCIS status is meant to be taken literally. If everything goes well, you’ll see a future date and time for the required interview when the status changes. This is typically the penultimate step before case adjudication, so it stands to reason that applicants may get anxious as they await scheduling. 

If there was a spot available at the time the paperwork was reviewed and approved, you would have seen a firm date and time as the status message. Exactly how long you’ll have to wait depends on estimated processing times at various regional USCIS offices, but there are also priority dates, backlog volumes, and internal rules to consider.

Checking for USCIS Scheduled Interviews Online

As of September 2022, USCIS was taking between a month and two years to schedule interviews. The Biden administration has allocated additional funds for USCIS to increase hiring so backlogs can be reduced. USCIS officials have been transparent about their backlogs, which is why we can access an online tool to estimate case processing times, but the usefulness of this tool begins with the determination of priority dates, which are subject to waiting lists based on annual quotas. This tool takes into consideration the type of petition or application, the form category, and the field office. For example, a K-1 fiancé visa at the California Service Center took about 10 months to reach the interview stage in 2022.

Immigration law firms constantly monitor changes to priority dates and waiting lists. The busiest USCIS categories are family and employment-based visas. Immigrants seeking these benefits are constantly placed on waiting lists that can change from one month to the next. Seasoned immigration attorneys read the Visa Bulletin published by USCIS and the Department of State so they can get an idea of how much longer their clients will need to wait for interviews.

When they need assistance with any issues relating to US Citizenship and Immigration Services, San Diego immigrants should reach out to the experienced attorneys at KS Visa Law. From green cards to family immigration to naturalization, we can address all your immigration-related needs. Call us today at 858-874-0711 to schedule an appointment.

May 2024