AP

It will soon take longer to get an employment-based green card, thanks to a new policy announced by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on Monday that requires applicants to have an in-person interview to be cleared. Adding the extra hurdle will draw out an already slow process that employers and applicants have long complained about.

Why it matters: Usually, green-card applicants who are sponsored by an employer as part of a work visa — especially those on high-skilled work visas — are able to get the interview waived, helping to speed up the vetting process. That process (without an interview) already takes nearly a year, according to USCIS data.

The move is part of the Trump administration's interest in "strengthening the integrity of our nation's immigration system" by creating more robust vetting procedures, Acting USCIS Director James McCament said in a statement.

High-skilled frustration: The added hurdle for green cards will likely frustrate companies like tech firms that say they need workers with specialized skills from abroad to meet their labor needs. Tech firms argue they wouldn't have to rely on H-1B visas (which the Trump administration would like to restrict) if the process for employment-based green cards wasn't so arduous. As of Oct.1, the process will take more time.

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Gulf Coast braces for Zeta after storm strengthens into hurricane

Hurricane Zeta's forecast path. Photo: National Hurricane Center

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) declared a state of emergency Monday as Zeta strengthened into a hurricane and threatened Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula as it moved towards the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The state of play: Zeta was expected to make landfall on the northern part of the Yucatan Peninsula Monday night, bringing with it a "dangerous storm surge" and "heavy rainfall" as it moved into the Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Service said.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: The swing states where the pandemic is raging — Pence no longer expected to attend Barrett confirmation vote after COVID exposure.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day case records last week
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  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. World: Restrictions grow across Europe.
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Supreme Court rejects request to extend Wisconsin absentee ballot deadline

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court in a 5-3 decision Monday rejected an effort by Wisconsin Democrats and civil rights groups to extend the state's deadline for counting absentee ballots to six days after Election Day, as long as they were postmarked by Nov. 3.

Why it matters: All ballots must now be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day in Wisconsin, a critical swing state in the presidential election.