Due to increasing concerns about the spread of the Coronavirus, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on March 17th that they will temporarily close all local field and asylum offices and application support centers. These offices will be closed until at least April 1, 2020.
Despite the temporary closure of these offices, USCIS Service Centers are still open and cases are still being processed. We are unsure how long this emergency will extend, but our team is prepared to serve our clients remotely in every capacity. We are promptly responding to all emails, calls, and other communication to ensure the highest level of customer service remains in effect.
How does this temporary USCIS closure affect investors?
USCIS appointments rescheduled
If you have an adjustment and naturalization interview or ceremony, or any other appointment with the USCIS scheduled between March 18, 2020 and April 1, 2020, your appointment will automatically be rescheduled by the USCIS. If you have any of the previously mentioned appointments scheduled and did not receive an automatic cancellation notice, you do NOT need to reach out to the USCIS to reschedule your appointment, as they will reach out to you to reschedule once their field offices open.
However, if you have an Infopass appointment scheduled between March 18, 2020 and April 1, 2020 you will have to proactively reschedule your appointments through the USCIS Contact Center as those appointments will not be automatically rescheduled.
If you have an appointment with the USCIS that is scheduled for after April 1, 2020, reach out to your immigration attorney closer to March 31st in the event that the USCIS extends their closure window past April 1st.
You may also follow USCIS closure updates at this link: https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/uscis-response-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19.
Travel may be restricted
If you experience an emergency that requires you to travel, please check in with your immigration counsel before booking any travel. Discuss your travel needs with your immigration attorney and notify them of the length of the trip, and the exact locations you will be visiting to make sure that you won’t be affected by any existing or new travel restrictions.
Will My Petition Still Be Processed?
Yes, USCIS Service Centers are still open and cases are continuing to be processed. Our virtual office here at Christian Tyler Properties is still open and we are continuing to file new petitions with USCIS and continue to meet deadlines and milestones on current applications. USCIS has, to this point, not changed any deadlines or filing requirements, with a limited exception of the foreign nationals in the US on the visa waiver program.
When will my petition be filed?
We are continuing to meet all government deadlines. However, our ability to do so will depend on the continued functioning of the United States Postal Service, FedEx, and USCIS. If these companies or agencies shut down, the promptness of our ability to file cases will be affected.
What if USCIS shuts down for a longer period of time, and my status expires?
In the event that this happens, we anticipate that USCIS will publicly announce and explain how they will handle a delayed filing.
Our CTP team will continue to provide you with the most up to date and pertinent information as we all navigate the events surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak. Our firm is fully operating and continuing to meet our clients’ needs while cooperating with local and national guidelines. Let us know if you have any questions, and we will be happy to help!