What Does “Case is Ready to be Scheduled for an Interview” Mean?

Posted by Frank Gogol

You’ve eagerly submitted all your documents to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You’re waiting in anticipation for a response, and then one day, you see your case status has changed to “Case is Ready to be Scheduled for Interview”. 

What does it mean if your case is ready to be scheduled for an interview? When will your interview be scheduled for? How long will you have to wait? Does this mean the end of your wait near?

We know you’re excited (and perhaps anxious) to get your visa, so understanding what lies ahead in this next phase could make a big difference. We’ll answer the above and many other important questions below. 

What Does “Case is Ready to be Scheduled for an Interview” Mean?

The status, “case is ready to be scheduled for interview”, basically means the paperwork for your visa application is finally complete. This is good news for your application status, as it means the USCIS has reviewed your application, and they’re now ready for you to move you on to the next step. 

Once you’ve reached this step, you have reached an important milestone in your application process. This step means you can be sure the USCIS hasn’t found any information to be missing in your application. So, you don’t have to worry about there being any further delays with an unexpected Request for Evidence. It also means they’ve processed your biometrics and confirmed you are eligible to receive the benefit you are applying for (provided, of course, there isn’t anything out of the ordinary that comes up in your interview). Basically, the USCIS now has everything they need to decide your case. 

Unfortunately, the status “case is ready to be scheduled for interview” does not mean your interview has actually been scheduled yet. 

It only means you are now in line with the other applicants to have your interview scheduled. There might still be some waiting time ahead before this becomes a reality. This is due to the volumes usually associated with this kind of process and the many visa applicants waiting in line.

We look at how long you’ll have to wait for your interview to be scheduled below. First, we’ll unpack which USCIS applications actually require an interview (or can have the interview waived). 

Which USCIS Applications Require an Interview?

Most visa applications require an interview. It’s an important part of the verification process. 

Employment or family-based visa interviews are some of the more well-known interviews. If you are applying for permanent residency with an I-485, you’ve probably also heard about your green card interview that is coming. You may also be requested to appear at a USCIS office for an interview if you are applying for I-765 employment authorization. The same will apply for I-130 applicants. 

In fact, there are only a small number of applications you can apply for without being required to attend an interview. These applications include:

  •  Foreign Government Officials traveling on an A-1 visa for official government business
  • International Organizations Representatives traveling on a G-1 visa
  • NATO Representatives and Military Personnel who are traveling on official business
  • Certain Polish applicants residing in Poland, who are applying for B1/B2 visas
  • Applicants who are renewing B1/B2, C1/D, F, or M visas issued after December 10, 2007.

In these cases, you can have the requirement for an interview waived. Interview waivers only apply in very specific circumstances, so don’t get your hopes up too fast. 

You can get more information about waiving your visa interview here.

When Will I Receive an Interview Date?

The waiting time between your status changing to “case is ready to be scheduled for an interview”, and the date you actually receive your interview notice entirely depends on your field office. 

The waiting times for interviews to be scheduled for the different field offices range from 1 month to over 24 months. Waiting for an extremely long time can result in you feeling concerned about your interview. Perhaps you’ve missed the notification, or maybe there is some other kind of problem. But, chances are you don’t have to worry as the long wait might be usual for your field office.

If you want to be on the safe side, however, let’s take a look at how you can be sure. 

How can I see my field office waiting times?

First, you need to make sure you’re checking the correct field office. Your zip code determines which office is your field office. 

You can find your field office by entering your zip code here.

Once you’ve determined which office is your field office, you must check the processing times for your specific field office. You need to check what dates they are currently processing. Based on your priority date, you’ll have a good idea of how long it will take for your interview to be scheduled. You can check the processing times for your field office here.

Some jurisdictions are known to have fast processing times, and others are known for their large backlogs and long waiting times. Unfortunately, this is entirely out of your control, and there is nothing you can do about this. All you can do at this stage is to be patient.  

How Long Could I have to Wait for an Interview Date?

As we’ve mentioned above, you could wait for anything between 1 month and 24 months for your interview to be scheduled. These times are not guaranteed in any way, however. So, if there is a long delay at your field office, it could even take even longer. 

You will know your interview has been scheduled if your case status online changes to “interview scheduled”. 

This means you finally have a date for your interview. You won’t see this date online, though. You will receive your notice with your interview date via physical mail about two weeks after this status change. 

This is one of the reasons why it is so important to notify the USCIS of a change of address. The USCIS will send this notice of action to the address they have on file. If you move but don’t notify them, you won’t receive this notice. If you’re not sure if the USCIS has the correct address, check your copies of your application filed. To inform the USCIS of a change of address, follow the instructions here.

The actual date of your interview will probably be scheduled more or less one month after you’ve received the notice mentioned above. This notification means you are close to the finish line, so make sure you prepare well for your visa interview in the time you now have left!

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Conclusion

“Case is ready to be scheduled for interview” can feel like one more confusing step in the visa application process. But it doesn’t have to be confusing once you familiarize yourself with the process above! 

By following the steps we’ve outlined, you can make sure you know what is going on and what to expect. You don’t need any surprises at this stage. Waiting for your visa interview to be scheduled can feel like ages. Be patient and use the time to prepare well. You’re almost there! 

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