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USCIS Closes Offices to the Public Until at Least April 1

18 Mar

On March 17, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced the temporary closure of its offices to the public, effective March 18 through at least April 1. The closure affects local USCIS field offices, asylum offices, and Application Support Centers.

The following services are suspended as a result of the closure: biometrics appointments, asylum interviews, adjustment of status interviews, naturalization interviews and oath ceremonies, INFOPASS appointments, and any other in-person appointment or service.

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 Application Support Centers 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.

USCIS has not specifically stated whether in-person interviews for applicants for adjustment of status and naturalization will be rescheduled automatically or whether the applicant must take steps to request rescheduling. We currently anticipate USCIS will automatically reschedule these appointments and will provide individual guidance to clients whose appointments are cancelled.

Emergency services may be available during the closure under limited emergency 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.