* Various U.S. authorities have made temporary changes in the past few weeks affecting U.S. immigration at all levels.
* Some of these temporary changes address specific questions and issues faced by foreign nationals and employers in the U.S., but some questions and issues remain unresolved at this time.
* Holland & Knight is closely monitoring these changes and will provide updates as appropriate.
There have been many changes to immigration processes and procedures as a result of COVID-19, and there are no doubt more to come. Set forth below is a summary of some recent changes. Holland & Knight will provide further updates as needed to keep you abreast of the relevant developments.
Routine In-Person Services at USCIS and U.S. Embassies and Consulates
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has suspended all in-person routine services as of March 18, 2020, until April 1, 2020. USCIS will continue to process non-in-person activities. Significant delays are expected because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Likewise, most U.S. Embassies and Consulates have suspended all visa services except for emergency situations, and it is expected that the bar for what will be considered an emergency will be very high. Anyone with an in-person interview at USCIS, whether for a green card, naturalization, asylum or other purpose, will be rescheduled.
INFOPASS Appointments at USCIS
For individuals who scheduled their own appointments through INFOPASS, you will need to reschedule your appointment through the USCIS Contact Center once your individual USCIS Field Office opens to the public. Check the status of your local USCIS Field Office here.
Application Support Center Appointments
If you have an appointment at a USCIS Application Support Center to have biometrics taken, the USCIS will automatically reschedule and send you a new notice once it resumes activity.
Suspension of Premium Processing Service
The USCIS has temporarily suspended until further notice premium processing for all Forms I-129 and Forms I-140. USCIS intends to honor those premium processing requests filed prior to the suspension. Any premium process petitions not processed within the required 15 calendar days will be given a refund of the premium processing fee.
By Tara Vance for JDSUPRA
Read Full Article HERE