Virginia, US

Mar 27 2020

USCIS Gives Petitioners and Applicants More Time to Respond to Requests for Evidence and Notices of Intent to Deny During COVID-19 Emergency

United States

At a glance

  • Petitioners and applicants will have an additional 60 days to respond to requests for evidence and notices of intent to deny issued between March 1 and May 1, 2020, USCIS has announced.
  • The agency has not made any accommodations for foreign nationals with expiring periods of stay or employment authorization documents; as such, applications for extensions and renewals must be filed timely.

The issue

In an effort to avoid negative immigration consequences stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, USCIS has agreed to extend response deadlines by 60 days for certain requests for evidence (RFEs) and notices of intent to deny (NOIDs). Where USCIS has issued an RFE or NOID dated between March 1 and May 1, 2020, the agency will accept responses submitted within 60 calendar days after the original response deadline in the RFE or NOID.

The USCIS announcement does not affect applications for extensions of stay or employment authorization. These must continue to be filed timely, unless and until the agency provides interim relief.

What this means for employers and foreign nationals

The 60-day extension is expected to alleviate the pressure on employers and foreign nationals to immediately respond to USCIS as U.S. businesses temporarily close and move their workforce to remote locations. Today’s accommodation comes after extensive advocacy efforts by Fragomen and other stakeholder groups.    

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.