USCIS IS SILENT DURING COVID-19

Throughout the last few weeks since the COVID-19 Pandemic began, USCIS has put various new immigration policies into place, such as allowing extensions on requests for evidence (RFE) or allowing certain work authorization applications approval without new biometrics.

However, one issue, in particular USCIS has not properly addressed, is the establishment of a nationwide policy that automatically extends the status of those currently in the United States in status. By allowing the automatic extension of status or extending immigration benefit deadlines, much of the stress that nonimmigrants, employers, and others face during this crisis would be reduced.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has responded to this situation by filing a complaint against USCIS in U.S. District Court requesting the immediate suspension of immigration benefit deadlines and the continuance of status for nonimmigrants in the United States. AILA Director of Federal Litigation Jesse Bless stated in the complaint, “USCIS has every power to immediately and temporarily toll any and all immigration-related deadlines and expiration of status to the benefit of U.S. employers, lawfully admitted foreign nationals, and the public. Many of those fighting on the front lines – our nurses and healthcare workers – are foreign nationals on nonimmigrant visas. At present, immigration attorneys seeking to effectively represent U.S. employers and foreign nationals face a dangerous catch-22: risk exposure and try to protect their clients’ immigration status or protect themselves and risk putting their clients’ cases or rights in jeopardy.”

Our office will continue to provide you with the most up-to-date news as it develops. Please make sure to check out the rest of our blogs HERE where we discuss other important immigration topics developing during COVID-19.

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