When a natural disaster or other unforeseen event occurs, it can sometimes affect the processing of immigration requests. Currently, all U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices are closed for in-person services, as is the Executive Office for Immigration Review in Sacramento. The Department of State is closing embassies and consulates around the world.
Emergency petitions are being heard. These may include special situations such as when people whose visas have expired are stuck in the U.S. due to travel restrictions or border closures. If you need help in a special situation, contact Yew Immigration Law Group for assistance.
If you have a pending immigration case and are not sure whether your appointment or hearing has been rescheduled, an immigration attorney can help you find out. If you are sick or quarantined and cannot attend, an immigration lawyer can help you file a motion for continuance to postpone the hearing.
According to the American Immigration Lawyers Association, immigration services that must be done in person are being suspended until at least April 1, and probably beyond that date. This includes, for example:
- Biometric appointments
- Naturalization ceremonies
If you have an in-person appointment with the USCIS, you can expect to receive a de-scheduling notice. Your appointment can be rescheduled once the USCIS resumes its normal operations. This also applies to asylum interviews and appointments with application support centers (ASCs). The agency knows that this will affect many people’s plans, and some deadlines have been extended.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
ICE is rescheduling appointments, including bond demands, although people posting immigration bonds may still enter the Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) building in San Francisco.
People who need to file an application for stay of deportation or removal (Form I-246) will temporarily be allowed to file by mail, accompanied by a money order, certified funds or a request for a fee waiver.
Travel restrictions and closures of embassies and consulates
You can stay up to date on any travel restrictions due to presidential proclamations on the AILA’s website. You can find out if an embassy or consulate is closed by going to its website, and you can search for the nearest embassy or consulate online.
Additionally, you can find country-specific information and updates on the State Department’s website.
Contact Yew Immigration Law Group for assistance with any immigration question. Attorney Alison Yew is certified as a Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law by the State Bar of California.