Immigration Update Q & A Video: Answers to Your Questions Regarding Resumption of Visa Services at Embassies Abroad, the Public Charge Rule, and More!

Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick answers your frequently asked questions on a variety of different topics in the world of immigration including: the resumption of visa services at U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide, NVC procedures, the public charge rule, and other immigration updates.

Want to know if we answered your question? Watch this video to find out.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When will the National Visa Center start scheduling interviews? I am already Documentarily Qualified by the NVC and I am awaiting an appointment date. It has been three months since I received Documentary Qualification.

A: This is a very common question we receive on a daily basis. To help our viewers with this question, we have made a dedicated video explaining how the NVC is working with U.S. Embassies abroad to send cases and schedule interviews based on cases that have been documentarily qualified by the NVC. NVC has stated that all cases that have been documentarily qualified will be sent to the U.S. Embassy abroad in the order that they have been documentarily qualified by the NVC.

However, please remember that even if your case has been Documentarily Qualified by the NVC, an interview is not necessarily guaranteed. The NVC must rely on the U.S. Embassy to determine whether the Embassy is accepting interview appointments. Their availability to take appointments will largely depend on the country conditions of each post. If your Embassy is not accepting cases for interviews, your case will remain warehoused at the NVC until the Embassy is ready to schedule interviews.

The U.S. Embassy will not be requesting files from the NVC. Instead, the NVC will be looking at the capacity of each Embassy to take interview appointments and will then send Documentarily Qualified cases to the Embassy once they are ready to receive them, and only in the order in which they have been Documentarily Qualified by the NVC.

Cases that were Documentarily Qualified before yours will receive priority for an interview appointment once the Embassy begins to accept appointments for interviews.

We know that the NVC is actively monitoring each Embassy’s capacity to take interview appointments and will send cases to each Embassy once they resume services.

Q: I am waiting for an interview appointment for CR-1 visa since October 2020 at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan. Any update?

A:   Unfortunately, the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad is one post that has not yet resumed routine visa services, due to local country conditions and low staffing levels. Like many other Embassies, they are only accepting requests for emergency visa appointments and expedited interviews.

It is very important for you to remain in touch with your Embassy, email them periodically, and monitor their website for information on when they might resume routine visa services. Each Embassy is regularly updating its website informing the public on its operation status. These instructions apply to all Embassies worldwide. Each Embassy will reopen at a different pace depending on its operational capacity, resources, and local country conditions. You must remain proactive and keep checking the website.

As an alternative, those who are eligible to request an expedited interview appointment or National Interest Exception should do so as soon as possible.

Q: My case updated to RFE for I-944 on March 4th. I still haven’t received my RFE notice in the mail. I need to respond by June. What should I do? They only asked for I-944. I am not sure how to respond.

A: We have made a dedicated video specifically on what applicants should do now that the public charge rule is no longer in effect, including information on what to do if you receive a request for evidence on or after March 9, 2021, asking for the public charge form and the associated supporting documentation.

The bottom line is that USCIS has said that applicants who have received a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) requesting information required under the 2018 public charge rule, including but not limited, to Form I-944, and your RFE or NOID response due date falls on or after March 9, 2021, you do not need to provide the public charge form, nor any supporting documentation associated with the form.

However, USCIS has made clear that applicants will need to respond to any portion or aspect of their RFE or NOID that has to do with their eligibility for immigration benefit (and not with the public charge rule).

TIP: Even if your RFE falls on or after March 9, 2021 and only asks for the public charge form and/or associated documentation, you should still respond to the RFE by including a printout of the public charge update on the USCIS website and highlighting the specific areas that state that the public charge rule is no longer in effect, and you no longer need to provide that information to USCIS.

Click here for more information.

Q: I am scheduled for a marriage based green card interview in the first week of April at the USCIS Chicago Field Office. I have a 3-year-old child. Can I take him with me to the interview or not?

A: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, USCIS has very strict guidelines on who is allowed to enter the USCIS field office building and attend the green card interview. These guidelines can vary depending on the jurisdiction. However, in general almost all USCIS offices are limiting the number of people who can come to the interview. If your child is not part of your green card application, in the sense that your child is a U.S Citizen and is not immigrating to the United States, we recommend not to take your child with you to the green card interview if it is not necessary to do so. A child should only be brought to the green card interview if you have requested immigration benefits for the child in your application.

Remember that you must however attend the interview with your spouse if you have applied for a marriage based green card interview. You can bring your child’s birth certificate to the interview to show that you have a U.S. Citizen child with your spouse.

Questions? If you would like to schedule a consultation, please text 619-483-4549 or call 619-819-9204.

Helpful Links


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