United States – USCIS Extends Office Closures, Suspends Certain Services Through June 3
US–USCIS Ofc Closures, Some Svcs Suspension Thru June 3
On April 24, 2020, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that its field offices and Application Support Centers (ASC) will continue to be closed through June 3, 2020 . This means that all in-person interviews, naturalization ceremonies, biometric collection appointments, and InfoPass appointments scheduled at USCIS field offices and ASCs, have been cancelled. Applications for adjustments of status, I-539 applications, initial I-765 applications requiring biometrics, and other applications requiring interviews and/or biometrics may see a delay in processing until offices and ASCs are reopened.
On April 24, 2020, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that its field offices and Application Support Centers (ASC) will continue to be closed through June 3, 2020, along with the suspension of all in-person services, extending closures initially announced on March 18, 2020. USCIS will continue to provide emergency services for limited situations during the closure.1 (For related coverage, see the following issues of GMS Flash Alert: 2020-159 (April 8, 2020), and 2020-128 (March 30, 2020), and 2020-082 (March 20, 2020).)
USCIS also stated in its update that it currently plans to begin reopening offices “on or after” June 4, 2020, unless public closures are extended further.
WHY THIS MATTERS
All in-person interviews, naturalization ceremonies, biometric collection appointments, and InfoPass appointments scheduled at USCIS field offices and ASCs, have been cancelled. Applications for adjustments of status, I-539 applications, initial I-765 applications requiring biometrics, and other applications requiring interviews and/or biometrics may see a delay in processing until offices and ASCs are reopened. These steps may cause inconvenience and frustration for many people; however, the decisions are being made in the interest of assuring public safety and mitigating the risk of spreading the coronavirus.
Suspension of In-Person Services
USCIS has extended the suspension of the following services through June 3, 2020:
Naturalization and Green Card interview appointments;
- Naturalization ceremonies;
- Biometric collection appointments;
- InfoPass appointments;
- All other in-person appointments.
USCIS field offices will mail cancellation notices with instructions to affected applicants with scheduled interviews or naturalization ceremonies during this closure period. Interview appointments and naturalization ceremonies will be automatically rescheduled once USCIS resumes normal operations.
USCIS will automatically reschedule ASC appointments. Applicants with cancelled biometric collection appointments will receive new appointment notices in the mail.
Individuals who have InfoPass or any other in-person appointment not mentioned above at a USCIS field office must reschedule these appointments through the USCIS Contact Center once field offices re-open. These appointments will not be automatically re-scheduled.
Applicants and employers of foreign nationals impacted by the extended delays in their applications as a result of the suspension of USCIS in-person services should contact immigration counsel to determine strategies for maintaining valid work authorization.
It is possible that USCIS will extend the closure of its offices and suspension of in-person services beyond June 3, 2020. This will result in further cancellations and reduction of services, and will cause similar delays to impacted applications.
KPMG Law LLP will continue to track this matter closely. We will keep readers of GMS Flash Alert informed of any new developments as and when they occur.
1 See the USICS webpage on office closures and service suspension.
* Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not provide any immigration services or legal services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Canada.
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