IMMIGRATION UPDATE COVID-19
The Coronavirus Pandemic has brought many changes to the immigration system. To help guide you through some of these changes, below is a comprehensive list of immigration news and updates that have occurred during the last few weeks:
- USCIS office closures are extended until June 3, but will still accept filings and continue to process cases;
- The NVC (National Visa Center) has had to reduce staff, which will cause correspondence delays;
- Consulates are closed to in person interviews and are only processing emergency cases;
- Both NVC and US Consulates are expediting approved I-140 petitions for health care workers.
- I-765 extensions will be processed with previously used biometrics;
- No premium processing for all I-129 and I-140 applications until further notice;
- USCIS extends deadlines to respond to agency requests;
- NVC will discontinue paper correspondence starting on June 1, 2020;
- The opening of entrant status check for DV-2021 will be delayed until June 6, 2020;
- Travel bans that were put into place on March 13, remain in place;
- USCIS has been waiving interviews in some instances for adjustment of status cases;
- Still no discussion from USCIS as to extending immigration status or benefit deadlines.
EXECUTIVE ORDER TO SUSPEND IMMIGRATION
- Order effective on April 23, 2020 and set to last for 60 days;
- Only applies to individuals OUTSIDE the US, those who DON’T have immigrant visas, and individuals who DON’T have a travel document or visa;
- Order excludes legal permanent residents (LPR), individuals like healthcare professionals with immigrant visas, spouse or child of a US citizen, EB-5 applicants, and anyone whose entry would be of national interest.
UNEMPLOYMENT AND BENEFITS
- Taking unemployment benefits will not apply as a public charge under the public benefit rule;
- Individuals currently on a work visa who were terminated or laid off have a 60-day grace period to leave the country or obtain new qualified employment and change employer;
- Some federally funded unemployment benefits are not available to non-US citizens or lawful permanent residents and may be considered against the public benefit rules;
- Applies to individuals on ESTA who cannot leave the US before the 90 day stay;
- Those who qualify can get a 30-day extension;
- Those who have been granted satisfactory departure before and are still unable to leave may be granted an additional 30-day extension;
- USCIS offices are accepting remote requests and adjudication of satisfactory departure requests;
- Requestors should call USCIS at 800-375-5283 and the representative will give further instructions as to how to provide necessary documentation.
For more detailed information check out Andrea’s LIVE YouTube video below “Immigration Update During COVID-19”. Also make sure to CLICK HERE to check out our channel on YouTube where we frequently post videos discussing various immigration topics!