Covid-19 has changed the world. Within the immigration realm, the following updates are current as of the writing of this article:
USCIS and EOIR
As you may already know, most USCIS offices were temporarily shut down on March 18, 2020 due to health concerns relating to the Coronavirus pandemic. Immigration courts – EOIR – were also closed in most of the country until at least end of April. All appointments for interviews and biometrics have been cancelled thru April – and may be extended. Courts are set to reopen on May 4, 2020. This date may change. Regardless of when they open, case processing is still moving forward. Both USCIS and EOIR are accepting filings. So make sure you don’t miss a deadline for any filings.
Please note that during the pandemic, USCIS has continued to make several accommodations to make it easier to file petitions. For example, until further notice, USCIS will accept copies of signatures on applications as opposed to requiring originals. Also, USCIS has provided additional time to submit evidence if the Request for Evidence (RFE) was issued after March 1, 2020.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is still requiring check ins if you are scheduled to do so. Please check with your reporting office for updated information on how to check in. http://ice.gov.
If you are due to depart the U.S. and your are unable to do so because of the pandemic, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) does have a procedure in place to temporarily extend your status in the U.S. Please check their website http://CBP.gov for up to date information.
If you are infected with Covid19, please note that USCIS will not penalize you for obtaining medical care needed to treat symptoms associated with this pandemic. Please be aware that this is not a general waiver – its only for sickness associated with the Corona virus.
There are daily updates on all of these measures. Please visit the applicable agency website citied above for the latest information. You may also contact our office at 323-857-0034 if you require any assistance. We are open during the pandemic and remotely. Please visit our website at http://americanvisas.net for complete information on our firm.
Thank you and stay safe and healthy.