New Regulations for Green Cards Make Them Harder to Obtain

Immigrants who currently have a work visa and who want to become permanent residents will face additional hurdles under the Trump regime. These new regulations for green cards make them harder to obtain.

In-Person Interviews for Visa Holders

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on August 28, 2017 that individuals who have work visas and who are applying for permanent residency will now be required to go through an in-person interview before being able to receive this status.

This extra step is expected to slow down the application process and make it more difficult for workers to get through the process. Previously, this requirement did not exist for employment-based applicants when the employer petitioning for permanent resident status was the same person who sponsored the initial work visa. The new requirement is supposed to help USCIS officers verify the information in an immigrant’s application and to discover new information that may impact the issuance of a permanent resident status.

The new requirement is expected to impact 145,000 immigrants. The change is expected to begin October 1.

In-Person Interviews for Others

In addition to current work visa holders, other immigrants may also be subject to the interview requirements. This includes family members of refugees or individuals who receive asylum. It is expected for even more people to be required to participate in an in-person interview to acquire legal status.

New Priorities

Aside from the in-person interviews, another possible change is that there will be new priorities for awarding green cards. As part of the RAISE Act, individuals who speak English and have job skills would be prioritized over other immigrants. In comparison, the current permanent resident application process favors spouses and other family members reuniting with relatives in the United States.

If the Act is passed by Congress, the following changes could be seen:

  • The number of refugees allowed in the United States would be reduced to 50,000 each year
  • The number of green cards awarded to immigrants would be reduced each year
  • The lottery-based system would be eliminated
  • Individuals who speak English, are able to financially support themselves, and have attractive job skills would take priority over other applicants

Critics of the bill are afraid that the bill would reduce the number of laborers who work in agriculture and other industries.

Contact an Immigration Lawyer

If you are concerned how the green card changes may impact you or a loved one, contact a skilled immigration lawyer from Udall Shumway for assistance. One of our experienced attorneys can discuss your situation and help determine what your legal options are.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding New Regulations for Green Cards, or other Immigration Law matters, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at 480.461.5330, log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.