USCIS Ends Covid-19 Related Flexibilities
- Posted by Akiko Yamada, Esq.
- On May 9, 2023
- 0 Comments
Extension of Deadline to Respond to Notice or Request Has Ended on March 23, 2023
On March 23, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will no longer extend the Covid-related flexibilities that provides additional 60 or 90 days to applicants, petitioners, and requestors to respond to certain notices or requests from USCIS.
USCIS first announced the flexibilities in March 2020 to assist applicants, petitioners, and requestors whose filing of responses, notices, or motions with USCIS could be affected by Covid-related circumstances.
With the end of the flexibilities, applicants, petitioners, and requestors must respond to any notices or requests from USCIS dated after March 23, 2023, by the deadlines listed in the notices or requests. These notices or requests include:
• Requests for Evidence;
• Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14);
• Notices of Intent to Deny;
• Notices of Intent to Revoke;
• Notices of Intent to Rescind;
• Notices of Intent to Terminate regional centers;
• Notices of Intent to Withdraw Temporary Protected Status; and
• Motions to Reopen an N-400 Pursuant to 8 CFR 335.5, Receipt of Derogatory Information After Grant.
Similarly, applicants, petitioners, and requestors who file the following notices or requests regarding a decision dated after March 23, 2023, must comply with the deadline in the form instructions:
• Form I-290B (Notice of Appeal or Motion); or
• Form N-336 (Request for a Hearing on a Naturalization Proceedings)
Immigration Relief in Emergencies or Unforeseen Circumstances
Though the Covid-related flexibilities have ended, if applicants, petitioners, or requestors are affected by an emergency or unforeseen circumstances, they may request USCIS to provide certain flexibilities on a case-by-case basis. Such circumstances include natural catastrophes, national emergencies, or severe illness, including Covid.
More specifically, under such circumstances, they may request certain relief or benefit listed below, and USCIS has discretion to grant them on a case-by-case:
• Extensions and Changes of Status
• Fee Waiver
• Document Replacement
• Employment Authorization
• Failure to Appear for an Interview or Biometrics Appointment
• Failure to Respond to a Request for Evidence
• Expedited Processing
• Flexibility for Visa Waiver Entrants
To request immigration relief, those applicants, petitioners, or requestors will need to explain how the impact of an unforeseen circumstance created a need for the requested relief.
USCIS’s original announcement on the end of Covid-related flexibilities can be found here. For more details on the immigration relief in emergencies or unforeseen circumstances, please visit USCIS’ website here.