Covid-19: USCIS to give 60 days grace for responses

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Flexibility for responding covers all requests issued between March 1 and July 1, 2020.

In a major relief to Indian and other immigrants from H-1B holders to green card seekers stuck in a limbo due to covid-19 pandemic, USCIS is giving a 60 day grace for responding to its requests.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, US Citizenship and Immigration Services is extending the flexibilities it announced on March 30 to assist applicants and petitioners, the agency announced Friday.

The requests covered include certain: Requests for Evidence; Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14); Notices of Intent to Deny; Notices of Intent to Revoke; Notices of Intent to Rescind and Notices of Intent to Terminate regional investment centers; and Filing date requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.

This flexibility applies to the above documents if the issuance date listed on the request, notice or decision is between March 1 and July 1, 2020, inclusive, the agency said.

READ: Covid-19: USCIS preparing to reopen on June 4 (April 28, 2020)

USCIS will consider a response to the above requests and notices received within 60 calendar days after the response due date set in the request or notice before taking action.

USCIS will consider a Form I-290B received up to 60 calendar days from the date of the decision before it takes any action, it said.

Earlier this week, USCIS, which had suspended in-person services on March 18,  had announced that unless the public closures are extended further, the agency plans to begin reopening its offices on or after June 4.

However, employees at its field offices, asylum offices, and application support centers (ASCs), are continuing to perform mission-essential services that do not require face-to-face contact with the public while the offices are closed, it said.

READ: Trump immigration executive order: Better than what we had been expecting (April 23, 2020)

USCIS field offices will send notices to applicants and petitioners with scheduled appointments and naturalization ceremonies impacted by the extended temporary closure, it said.

USCIS asylum offices will send interview cancellation notices and automatically reschedule asylum interviews. When the interview is rescheduled, asylum applicants will receive a new interview notice with the new time, date and location of the interview.

When USCIS again resumes operations for in-person services, USCIS will automatically reschedule ASC appointments due to the temporary office closure. Individuals will receive a new appointment letter in the mail.

RELATED: American Bazaar’s Covid-19 coverage

USCIS is adopting several measures to protect the US workforce and community and to minimize the immigration consequences for those seeking immigration benefits during this time, the agency said.

USCIS will provide further updates as the situation develops and will continue to follow CDC guidance. Education and precautions are the strongest tools against Covid-19 infection, the agency said. Visit uscis.gov/coronavirus for latest facts and other USCIS updates.

ALSO READ:

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Covid-19: USCIS outlines options for stranded nonimmigrants (April 14, 2020)

What are the options H-1B workers have if they lose job (April 11, 2020)

Covid-19: AILA sues USCIS for maintaining non-immigrants’ status (April 8, 2020)

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

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