Covid-19: AILA sues USCIS for maintaining non-immigrants’ status

Immigration lawyers body demands immediate suspension of all deadlines during  lockdown.

Amid the coronavirus crisis, non-immigrants in the US are undergoing the dual stress of safety as well as worrying about the status of their visas during the lockdown to contain the pandemic.

The fear of soon-expiring visas, rejection of extensions and maintaining H-1B status while working from home are just a few of the concerns that non-immigrants in the country are currently facing.

With these considerations, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has filed a complaint against Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) calling for an immediate maintenance of status for non-immigrants in the US.

RELATED: H-1B community bracing for job losses, uncertain future in the wake of Covid-19 economic meltdown (April 7, 2020)

“The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a worldwide pause in almost every facet of life,” says the civil complaint filed at the US district court for the District of Columbia in Washington DC.

But “unlike its government counterparts,” the complaint says, USCIS “has finally decided not to temporarily toll deadlines and extend any expiration of immigration-related benefits for those within the United States, many of whom work as nurses and healthcare workers.”

“USCIS has every power to immediately and temporarily toll any and all immigration-related deadlines and expiration of status to the benefit of US employers, lawfully admitted foreign nationals, and the public,” said AILA Director of Federal Litigation Jesse Bless.

RELATED: H4 visa: a primer (December 9, 2014)

“Many of those fighting on the front lines – our nurses and healthcare workers – are foreign nationals on nonimmigrant visas,” he said.

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