Mar 17 2020

USCIS Offices Suspend In-Person Services Until At Least April 1

United States

At a glance

  • As part of its COVID-19 response, USCIS will suspend in-person interviews and biometrics appointments at local offices for the next several weeks at least.
  • Foreign nationals with green card interviews, naturalization interviews or naturalization ceremonies scheduled for the coming weeks will receive notices that their appointments are cancelled.  Appointments will 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.

The issue

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will temporarily close its local field offices and Application Support Centers (ASCs) and suspend in-person services, effective immediately. The suspension is expected to remain in place until at least April 1.

During this time, the agency will not conduct in-person green card or naturalization interviews, naturalization ceremonies, or biometrics appointments at ASCs. Foreign nationals with appointments scheduled for the coming weeks will receive cancellation notices.

Green card interviews, naturalization interviews and naturalization ceremonies will 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.

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

What this means for employers and foreign nationals

The closures mean that the final adjudication of applications requiring interviews and/or biometrics – including applications for adjustment of status 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 initial and renewal 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.