Immigration In The USA During COVID-19

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The sudden outbreak of Coronavirus has disrupted the regular life of ordinary people and aristocrats alike. Even the immigration offices have temporarily suspended operations, including the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You might be wondering how your immigration lawyer will operate amidst this global pandemic. We have answered some of the commonly asked questions, here:

I have already submitted my application. Will coronavirus impact the processing?

As the disease is shrouded with mystery, the Visa processing time will depend upon the global response. However, if your biometrics or interview schedule has been hampered, do not worry. USCIS will reschedule all the appointments, and you can track them on their official website. A reliable immigration lawyer from can Pandew Law can helps you out with further guidance.

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How can I get proof of employment now that my office is closed?

You can get a letter in your company’s letterhead saying that work is on hold due to the crisis. However, your immigration lawyer needs to guide you through this paperwork. USCIS may not consider a letter to be sufficient, and you may receive a “Request for Evidence” to prove your current income. To avoid this, trust your legal advisor and make sure your immigration lawyer is experienced enough to steer clear of risks.

My lawyer is unavailable to assist me at these times. What should I do?

Even if you have a very competent immigration lawyer, you need maximum assistance at this time of uncertainty. If your services are not being taken care of, contact Pandev Law immediately. We help you with immigration legalities and provide you with a support system when you need us the most.

Source: Pew Research Center

Are Immigration service offices and U.S. Citizenship offices closed due to COVID-19?

It was on March 18, 2020, that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services were temporarily suspended in-person. The services in Asylum offices, field offices, and application support centers were all suspended. It was mainly done to help control the outbreak. USCIS offices are expected to reopen from June 4, unless the country’s public closures extend further. However, employees are continuing their work from the backend, and mission-essential services are all performed. These services don’t require face to face contact with the public.

My biometrics appointment was scheduled at a USCIS office, but it is closed now. Will this affect my timeline?

When USCIS resumes the operation, the work will start just like before. All your appointments will automatically be rescheduled. You do not need to worry about it and wait for a confirmation from the Application Support Center. If you do not get any new mail of appointment within 90 days, contact 800-375-5283 for clarification.

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The sudden restriction on travel is causing me to overstay my visa. What do I do?

The U.S. law has defined specific provisions to extend the people’s stay under the Visa Waiver Program. However, in this unusual circumstance, you must consult your immigration lawyer to request a “Satisfactory Departure” for your case. This will give you an additional stay of 30 days after visa expiration. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection is further considering increasing this time limit at present. You must remember that violating a visa can negatively impact your application. Therefore, make sure that your immigration lawyer takes all the mandatory caution.

If I get tested positive for Coronavirus, will it affect my citizenship application or green card?

No. USCIS has clearly announced that testing positive or even undergoing treatment for COVID-19 will not count as harmful for your application. However, you must consult your immigration lawyer to understand the government benefits that you might get.

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What if I have already immigrated to America? Do I need to head back?

You might need to head back in the days to come. It has been clarified that Trump’s decision will not affect foreigners who are already working in America. However, this step is being taken to protect the jobs of the American people. Trump has spoken of suspending the immigrant visa. Significantly, the popular H-1B visa among Indian I.T. professionals is a non-immigrant visa. Since Trump has argued that there is a need to protect American citizens’ jobs, non-immigrant visas may also hit their target. A record number of layoffs occur in the U.S. due toCoronavirusvirus epidemic, and 22 million American citizens applied for unemployment benefits last week.

Are the detainees allowed to attend medical appointments?

Medical Appointments are crucial to take the immigration procedure further. So there are a few guidelines laid for the detainees to attend such appointments. Asymptomatic detainees can participate in all meetings. Even while they are in isolation, they can visit them. Symptomatic detainees can participate in medical appointments, but they are required to wear a very tight mask. They are only allowed to attend essential medical appointments after wearing tight surgical masks. The status of the detainee is provided to the medical officer before the appointment. This helps them to coordinate and protect their staff and other patients from the detainee.

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How does COVID-19 impact my application after I submit it?

Currently, the present scenario has deterred the entire process in the USCIS offices to a great extent. They are rescheduling all interviews and biometrics due to the closure of offices. USCIS has had so many applications, and they are still being processed at the respective lockbox. Although the process is taking longer than usual. Without the notice of biometrics, work and travel permits to the candidate are not granted. Depending on how long the closure remains since things are not sure at the moment, you will have to keep a lot of patience. Immigrants will have to wait for almost 5-8 months for the processing time, and 11-14 months for the green card.

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