Tuesday, March 24, 2020

UPDATED: IMMIGRATION CLOSURES AND UPDATES AS A RESULT OF COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a variety of closures and suspensions of immigration services.  Below is a summary of all closures and suspensions at this time.  This list is subject to change as new updates become available. 

US Citizenship and Immigration Service:
Immigration Filings: USCIS will continue to perform duties that do not involve contact with the public.  Petitions will continue to be accepted for filing and adjudicated by the USCIS.  Effective March 20, 2020 the USCIS has announced the immediate and temporary suspension of premium processing on all I-129s (L-1s, H-1Bs, TNs) and I-140s.

Interviews and In-Person Appointments: As of March 18, 2020 the USCIS has suspended all in-person services until at least April 1, 2020.  This cancellation includes interviews for green card cases and biometrics appointments. USCIS will send notices to all applicants and petitioners with scheduled appointments impacted by this closure and all appointments will be automatically rescheduled when services resume.

Electronic Signatures: Due to the National Emergency, USCIS will accept scanned, faxed, or photocopied, original signatures.  For forms that require an original “wet” signature, including the I-129, I-140, and I-485, USCIS will accept electronically reproduced original signatures for the duration of the National Emergency. 

Department of State:
US Embassies: Effective March 20, 2020 the Department of States has also suspended interviews in an effort to slow the spread of Covid-19.  As resources allow, embassies and consulates will continue to provide emergency services. Appointments and interviews will resume as soon as possible. 

Travel Restrictions: 
Out of the US: On March 19, 2020, the Department of State has issued a Level 4 warning, advising all US Citizens to avoid all international travel.  US Citizens who do not live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the US or prepare to remain abroad for an indefinite period of time.  Many countries are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and are implementing travel restrictions, quarantines, and closed borders.

Into the US: Travel bans have been issued restricting travel to the US for individuals who have traveled to: Austria, Belgium, Mainland China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland, United Kingdom, within in the last 14 days.

The following individuals are exempt from the travel ban:
  • US Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents;
  • Spouses of US Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents;
  • Parents or legal guardians of US Citizens of Lawful Permanent Residents, provided that the child is unmarried and under the age of 21;
  • Siblings of US Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents, provided both are unmarried and under the age of 21;
  • Children who are under the legal custody of US Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents; and
  • Other certain foreign government and health officials. 

On April 11, 2020 officials will reassess COVID-19 travel bans.

Stay Safe and Healthy and Please Remember to Wash Your Hands Regularly.

2 comments:

  1. Hi..I am from India...I already filed with immigration visa and waiting for approval .because us embassy was closed..I am staff nurse passed with NCLEX rn..so any chance to came and work for covid patients ?

    ReplyDelete