Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick shares the latest update regarding the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) field office closures.
Keep on watching for more information.
On March 18, 2020, USCIS made the decision to temporarily close USCIS field offices, application support centers (ASC), and asylum offices to help slow the spread of COVID-19. This means that since March 18th no green card interviews, asylum interviews, biometrics appointments, nor info pass appointments have taken place.
After making the announcement, USCIS initially planned to reopen its offices on April 7th but the agency ultimately extended the temporary closure until May 4th.
In its most recent update USCIS has said that the agency is readying offices to reopen on or after June 4th.
Please keep in mind that although USCIS offices have been closed to the public, USCIS service centers nationwide continue to accept and process applications for immigration benefits.
In addition, although USCIS field offices are closed to the public, they are still providing limited in-person services for those with emergencies. These individuals can contact the USCIS Contact Center for emergency assistance.
What will happen to appointments that were cancelled?
USCIS field offices will send notices to applicants and petitioners with scheduled appointments and naturalization ceremonies impacted by the extended temporary closure.
Asylum applicants who had an interview impacted by the closures will receive interview cancellation notices and asylum interviews will be automatically rescheduled.
When new interviews are 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 impacted by the office closure. New appointment notices will be delivered in the mail.
If you had an Infopass or other appointment you must reschedule by calling the USCIS Contact Center on or after June 4 when offices reopen to the public.
What if I have moved to a new address?
If you have changed your address, you must file a change of address online as soon as possible, so that USCIS will know where to send your rescheduled appointment notice and further correspondence. This is very very important. Changing your address is required by law.
Will there be backlogs?
Once USCIS offices reopen on or after June 4th cases will be delayed because people who have been waiting to be interviewed since March 18th will all need to have their appointments rescheduled. We ask that the public please be patient and wait to receive your rescheduled interview notice in the mail.
Should I file an application or petition with USCIS during COVID-19?
If you have the financial resources to do so, you should absolutely submit your applications with USCIS. As we mentioned USCIS is still accepting and processing applications and petitions for immigration benefits.
Immigration and COVID-19 Resource Center
For further immigration information related to COVID-19 please visit our Immigration and COVID-19 Resource Center here.
Follow our New Facebook Group for COVID 19 and EO Updates
We have created a new facebook group to address the impact of the executive order and other changing developments related to COVID-19. Follow us there.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding these updates please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office at 619-819-9204 for a consultation.