IMMIGRATION UPDATE COVID-19 - Szew Law Group

IMMIGRATION UPDATE COVID-19

 In Business Immigration, Business Options, E Visas, E-3 visas, Employer Options, Entertainment Visas, H-1b, L Visas, O Visas, P visa, Szew Law Group Blog, US Permanent Residence, Visa Options

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:

OFFICE CLOSURES/OPENINGS

  • 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.

POLICY CHANGES

  • 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;

SATISFACTORY DEPARTURE

  • 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!

Leave a Comment