USCIS Begins Preparing Offices for Reopening
On March 18, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) temporarily suspended in-person services at its field offices, asylum offices, and application support centers (ASCs). On April 1, 2020, USCIS extended the suspension until at least May 3, 2020. In its latest announcement on April 24, 2020, USCIS announced that it is preparing to reopen its offices on or after June 4, 2020, subject to local and state orders applicable to each respective office.
While USCIS offices are continuing to perform services that do not require face-to-face contact with the public, the following services are suspended as a result of the office closures: biometrics appointments, asylum interviews, adjustment of status interviews, naturalization interviews and oath ceremonies, InfoPass appointments, and any other in-person appointment or service. During this time, individuals may continue to submit applications and petitions to USCIS, as previous Immigration Updates© have confirmed.
Applicants with appointments scheduled during the dates of closure will not be able to attend their appointments. USCIS will cancel all appointments during the closure. USCIS will notify asylum applicants who were scheduled for an in-person interview that their appointments have been canceled and will automatically reschedule their appointments at a later date. Biometrics appointments at the ASCs will also be rescheduled automatically when normal operations resume. Applicants with InfoPass or other appointments will need to proactively reschedule their appointments when normal operations resume.
Emergency services may be available during the closure under very limited circumstances and may be requested through the USCIS Contact Center. While USCIS did not clarify the type or level of emergency that might warrant services during the closure, or the type or level of services that might be provided, it is anticipated that a qualifying emergency would have to be particularly severe to warrant deviation from the emergency procedures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Foster will continue to monitor government closures and other action related to COVID-19 and will provide additional updates on the immigration-related impacts of COVID-19 via our firm’s website at www.fosterglobal.com.