Wednesday, April 15, 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: The USCIS recently announced that it may excuse some delays in filing immigration cases in a timely manner. USCIS, in its discretion, may excuse the failure to file on time if it was due to extraordinary circumstances beyond the applicant’s control, such as those that may be caused by COVID-19.

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.

For all cases where an RFE (Request for Evidence) or NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) was issued between March 1, 2020 and May 1, 2020, the USCIS will allow an automatic 60-day extension to the due date. 

Interviews and In-Person Appointments: The USCIS has suspended all in-person services until at least May 3, 2020.  The USCIS has also announced that it will re-use biometric information already on file in order to process applications for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs). 

Electronic Signatures: Due to the National Emergency, USCIS will accept scanned, faxed, or photocopied, original signatures. 

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.  If you are a medical professional, please see our previous blog post about interviews for medical professionals. 

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. 
Into the US: Travel bans have been issued restricting travel to the US for individuals who have traveled to several countries 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.
Stay Safe and Healthy and Please Remember to Wash Your Hands Regularly.

4 comments:

  1. Hi,

    Does temporary travel outside the United States affect my legal permanent resident status? A general guide used is whether you have been absent from the United States for more than a year. As a result of Covid-19 is this relaxed or still set to 1 year limit for temporary travel outside the United States?

    Thanks
    Joe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There has not been issued anything definitive.

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  2. Hello Chris!

    Are there any petition or call to lift the Visa Cap of EB-3 Nurses and other healthcare professionals during this crisis against Covid-19 in the US?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are talking to congress but we are at the early stages of the discussions.

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