So, you have filed for an adjustment of status, naturalization or United States citizenship, and your interview with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is scheduled.
You are excited that the end of the journey is near and the stressful process will soon be behind you — but something unexpected has come up, and you realize you won’t be able to make it to your interview.
While the interview is a key part of the path to lawful permanent residence or citizenship, if an unexpected event occurs, it is possible to reschedule your appointment.
We’re here to explain how to reschedule your USCIS appointment if needed, and how our experienced immigration attorneys at Spar & Bernstein can help you throughout the process.
What Does A USCIS Appointment Include?
Whether you’re obtaining a Green Card or you’re on the path to naturalization or citizenship, a USCIS interview is an important part of the process.
When your interview is scheduled, USCIS sends out an interview notice. What’s included in your appointment may vary, based off of your application.
If you are applying for an adjustment of status, your interview will include:
- Questions to determine your eligibility for adjustment
- Questions to determine if there are changes in your circumstances since the time you filed your application
- Questions about your sponsor and your relationship to the sponsor, if you are applying for a family-based Green Card
- Questions about your job, qualifications and employer, if you are applying for an employment-based Green Card
Typically, if you are applying for a Green Card based on family relations, both you and your sponsor (petitioner) need to be present at the interview.
If you are applying for a Green Card based on employment, your employer does not need to be present at the interview.
If you are not comfortable communicating in English, USCIS allows you to bring an interpreter to your adjustment of status interview to interpret for both you and the USCIS officer.
Under limited circumstances, and entirely upon their discretion, USCIS can waive your adjustment of status interview and proceed with your Green Card application.
If you are applying for naturalization or citizenship, your naturalization interview will include:
- Questions about your application and background
- A naturalization test made of two components: civics (to evaluate your knowledge of American government and history) and English (to evaluate your ability to read, write, and speak basic English)
When referring to a USCIS appointment, the appointment may also be for your biometric screening, in which USCIS will record your fingerprints, photograph, and/or signature.
At this appointment, USCIS officers will confirm your identity and run mandatory background and security checks.
If you have family members who also need to attend a biometric screening, USCIS may try to schedule your appointments together.
If you have been scheduled for biometrics but your dependents have not yet received their appointment notice, they may be permitted to attend your appointment.
However, the decision to combine your biometrics appointments is entirely up to the USCIS officers.
Can You Reschedule A USCIS Interview Appointment?
Yes, you can reschedule your USCIS interview appointment if an unexpected and valid circumstance occurs, and you send a rescheduling request ahead of time.
Valid reasons for rescheduling your USCIS appointment include:
- Medical emergencies
- Family emergencies
- Important trips
- Other unavoidable circumstances
If you do not attend your interview without notice, the USCIS officer will assume you have given up on your application, and your application will be paused, considered abandoned or denied.
If this happens, you will need to file a new application, pay the fee again and start the process from the very beginning.
If your application is denied on abandonment grounds, you will not be able to appeal the USCIS decision. However, under certain circumstances, you will be able to file a motion to reopen the case.
Note that rescheduling your interview may result in a delay regarding the processing of your application, which can range from several weeks to several months.
Being unprepared for an interview is not a valid reason for rescheduling your appointment.
If you fail your civics or English test during your naturalization interview, you will be rescheduled for a new interview within 90 days.
How To Reschedule A USCIS Interview
- Birth date
- Case number
- A letter explaining why you cannot attend the interview, along with information related to the rescheduling, such as the length of your hospital stay
- A copy of your interview notice
You can contact USCIS by email if your immigration attorney has the contact information of the local USCIS field office. This information is typically not available to the general public.
To submit a reschedule request, provide your immigration lawyer with documents verifying the reason why you cannot attend your interview. For example, a medical treatment document or a travel itinerary.
How Long Does It Take USCIS To Reschedule An Interview?
It typically takes around 4-6 weeks for USCIS to either approve or deny your request to reschedule.
If USCIS accepts your request, you will receive a letter in the mail or an email to confirm your new appointment.
If USCIS finds your reasons invalid, they will deny your request to reschedule.
You will not be charged a penalty for rescheduling your appointment.
How Can Spar & Bernstein Help You Reschedule Your USCIS Interview?
Rescheduling your USCIS interview appointment for an adjustment of status, naturalization or citizenship can delay your application process by several months.
Our immigration attorneys at Spar & Bernstein are here to help.
With a team of highly knowledgeable, accomplished attorneys and 50+ years of legal experience, our team at Spar & Bernstein handles all areas of immigration law, from citizenship and naturalization to family immigration, employment immigration, DACA, asylum and refugee protection and deportation and removal defense.
If you need to reschedule your USCIS interview appointment, our experienced attorneys will:
- Review the reasons for your rescheduling request and determine whether they are valid
- Contact USCIS on your behalf to reschedule your interview
- Help you prepare and file any additional documents USCIS may require, pertaining to your request
- Help you prepare for your USCIS interview
- Follow up on your application after your interview
- Take steps to speed up the process in the event of delays
For more information on how long it takes USCIS to reschedule your interview, check out the video below from Brad Bernstein, the Managing Partner at Spar & Bernstein.
Rescheduling A USCIS Interview Appointment — Key Takeaways
The USCIS interview is an important part of the application process for an adjustment of status, naturalization or citizenship in the United States.
If you fail to attend your scheduled interview and do not inform USCIS ahead of time, your application may be denied and you may need to go through the entire process again, losing out on both money and time.
To reschedule your USCIS interview, you must have a valid reason, such as a family or medical emergency, or an important trip that cannot be cancelled or postponed.
You can inform USCIS about the need to reschedule your interview by calling or sending a letter. If you have an immigration attorney, your attorney can send an email to the respective field office where your interview is scheduled to take place.
At Spar & Bernstein, we can help you reschedule your USCIS interview by contacting the appropriate parties and handling communication with USCIS on your behalf.
In addition, our compassionate and knowledgeable immigration attorneys can help you prepare for the interview and follow up on your application, supporting you every step of the way.
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Bradford H. Bernstein
This article was written and reviewed by Bradford H. Bernstein, a second-generation leader at Law Offices of Spar & Bernstein, P.C., who has helped over 100,000 clients with immigration and personal injury issues. Brad joined the firm in 1993, became a partner in 1997, and assumed leadership in 2000 after Harry Spar retired.View Brad's Bio