Virginia, US

Apr 01 2020

USCIS Offices Extend Suspension of In-Person Services Until At Least May 3

United States

At a glance

  • As part of its COVID-19 response, USCIS will extend its suspension of in-person interviews and biometrics appointments at local offices until at least May 3.
  • Foreign nationals with green card interviews, naturalization interviews or naturalization ceremonies scheduled for the coming weeks will continue to receive notices that their appointments are cancelled. Appointments will need to be rescheduled after USCIS local offices resume operations.
  • Foreign nationals with biometrics appointments at USCIS Application Support Centers will receive cancellation notices. Their appointments will be automatically rescheduled, with exceptions.

The issue

In a continued response to COVID-19, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will extend its public closure of local field offices and Application Support Centers (ASCs), suspending in-person services now until at least May 3. The original suspension took effect on March 18 and was subsequently extended through April 7.

During the temporary suspension, USCIS will not conduct in-person green card or naturalization interviews, naturalization ceremonies, or biometrics appointments at ASCs. The agency will continue to provide limited emergency services only in certain circumstances.

Foreign nationals with appointments scheduled for the coming weeks will receive cancellation notices.  Green card interviews, naturalization interviews and naturalization ceremonies must be rescheduled after USCIS local offices resume in-person services. ASC appointments will be rescheduled automatically, and affected foreign nationals will receive rescheduling notices by mail. However, USCIS has announced that it will process Form I-765 Employment Authorization Document renewal applications using biometrics previously collected from applicants, so rescheduling should not be necessary for those applications.

USCIS Service Centers, where most immigration benefit applications and petitions are adjudicated, are not affected by this announcement.

What this means for employers and foreign nationals

The continued suspension means that the final adjudication of applications requiring interviews and/or biometrics – including applications for adjustment of status, initial Form I-765 applications requiring biometrics, and nonimmigrant extensions and changes of status on Form I-539 – may be delayed until in-person services resume. Delays in Form I-539 processing could also delay employment authorization applications for H-4, L-2, and E nonimmigrant spouses.

Fragomen is closely monitoring U.S. immigration operations during the COVID-19 response and will provide updates as the situation evolves. 

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