As of March 18, 2020, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices are temporarily closed to the public. USCIS made the decision to suspend its routine, in-person services in an effort to slow the virus’ spread. The offices are currently scheduled to re-open on May 4, 2020, pending further announcements.
The office closure applies to all field offices, international offices, and application support centers. Asylum offices are closed to walk-in assistance and non-interview inquiry appointments, but they are still open to individuals appearing for previously scheduled interview appointments.
USCIS staff are still working on tasks that don’t require public contact. They are also still providing emergency services in limited situations. Their website advises contacting their offices to schedule an emergency appointment.
If you are scheduled for an interview at a USCIS office that is currently closed, USCIS will automatically reschedule as soon as they are able. Domestic field offices will send notices with instructions regarding scheduled interview appointments and naturalization ceremonies. However, if you scheduled an InfoPass or other appointment at an office that is closed, it is your responsibility to reschedule your own appointment as soon as possible.
Scheduled Biometric Services Appointments
If you are scheduled for a biometrics services appointment at an application support center, USCIS will automatically reschedule as soon as they are able. They will send you a new ASC appointment notice through the mail. If you do not receive an appointment notice within three weeks, contact their office. Be aware, though, that USCIS is unable to automatically reschedule appointments for Canadian and United Kingdom visa applicants.
Regarding asylum appointments, USCIS asylum offices will send interview cancellation notices and automatically reschedule asylum interviews. Applicants will receive a new interview notice with the time, date, and place of the interview when it is rescheduled.
Request for Evidence or Notice of Intent to Deny
For those who receive a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) dated between March 1 and May 1, 2020, USCIS will consider any responses submitted within 60 calendar days after the response date before any action is taken. Similarly, for Notices of Intent to Revoke and Notices of Intent to Terminate, USCIS will consider responses received within 60 calendar days after the response due date before taking action if the notice was dated by USCIS between March 1 and May 1, 2020.
Employment Authorization Extensions
Regarding extensions of Employment Authorization Documents, applicants who had scheduled appointments with an ASC after March 18 or who have filed a Form I-765 extension (Application for Employment Authorization) will have their applications processed using pre-existing biometrics information already on file with USCIS.
Notice of Appeal of Motion
Regarding Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, USCIS will consider certain forms (from an appealable decision with AAO jurisdiction issued and dated between March 1 and May 1, 2020) that it receives up to 60 calendar days from the decision date before it takes any action.
USCIS will automatically reschedule any naturalization oath ceremonies that were scheduled to take place during the office closure. They will send rescheduling notices through the mail. If you have not received a notice within 90 days, contact USCIS.
All USCIS online services are still available. USCIS will provide information and updates as the pandemic progresses. Immihelp will also continue to keep its users up-to-date and informed about the status of services needed for immigrants to the United States. Applicants and petitioners may experience longer wait times or find that certain conveniences and services are temporarily unavailable. We recommend that you keep copies of all the required paperwork and forms, document all attempts at communication, and exercise patience. A shutdown this comprehensive and of this scale hasn’t occurred in recent history, and organizations large and small are still working to establish a status quo for the duration of the coronavirus crisis.
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