News & Insights
The COVID-19 crisis and the associated suspension of many international flights are impacting many people in the US under a variety of visas which require that a person leave the US by a certain date. The steps to take to seek to extend a period of stay vary according to the type of status held, and the government’s policies being adopted in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
On April 1, 2020, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the current closure of all local offices will be extended at least through the end of May 3rd, unless the closure is extended further. The closure affects all in-person activities including interviews, naturalization oath ceremonies, and biometrics collection appointments. In case a true emergency requires action, such as a temporary stamp in a passport, emergency accommodation may be requested.
Employers should be advised that the surge in filings for unemployment is bringing to light potential conflicts of employee social security numbers or employment authorization documents.
New USCIS Policy Allows Certain Electronically Copied Signatures During the COVID-19 Distancing Measures
USCIS temporary policy provides acceptance of most applications or petitions for immigration status or documents that contain scanned or “electronically reproduced” original signatures, including the Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker.
Because employers are taking precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by having employees work remotely, the Department of Homeland Security will exercise discretion to defer the physical presence requirements associated with Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) under Section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
USCIS Announces Changes in Deadlines to Respond to RFEs and Other USCIS Notices and to File an Appeal
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced flexibility in submitting required responses to notices that apply to applicants and petitioners who are responding to certain Requests for Evidence (RFE), Notices of Intent to Deny (NOID), certain Notices of Intent to Revoke (NOIR), and Notices of Intent to Terminate (NOIT) regional investment centers, as well as certain filing date requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on March 30, 2020, that it will reuse biometrics data that was previously collected prior to the March 18th closure. For cases that already have submitted reusable biometrics, this action will allow processing of employment authorization documents, for example, to go forward despite the closure of the offices collecting the biometrics.
Learn about eligibility and other CARES Act requirements, the amount of loans that may be obtained, and provisions of the act pertaining to landlords.