Responses Accepted Within 60 Days of Deadlines
UPDATE on 3/30/2020: USCIS Clarifies & Expands Flexibility for RFE, NOID, NOIR, NOIT Responses
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that due to the ongoing effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency was “adopting measures to minimize the immigration consequences associated with responding to requests for evidence (RFEs) and notices of intent to deny (NOIDs) dated between March 1 and May 1, 2020.
Any responses to RFEs or NOIDs with deadlines between March 1 and May 1, 2020 that are submitted within 60 calendar days after the deadline, will be accepted for consideration by USCIS. The agency stated additional updates will be provided as the situation develops.
Over 200 organizations, including the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s New York Chapter, have written to the the U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement to request “policies and protocols to fully and effectively respond to the crisis currently being caused by COVID-19.” The letter states that “immigrants and the providers and advocates who help them to navigate these systems will suffer serious hardships that raise due process concerns.”
The letter has requested that courts be closed and deadlines extended. Some of the additional requests are below:
- Address “age-outs” caused by COVID-19
- Issue automatic work authorizations and renewals during the length of the pandemic
- Suspend the issuance of new RFEs and NOIDs until offices resume normal operations
- Waive requirements for original signatures and original photographs
USCIS recently announced that reproduced original signatures are acceptable for forms that typically require original “wet ink” signatures. We will keep you posted on additional updates to these requests to the respective agencies.
Visit our COVID-19 Resource Page for Employers & Foreign Workers to read about other critical immigration updates.