We totally understand if you’re wondering whether you can apply for immigration status during the Coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. You might also be wondering if you can change or extend your status. There have been announcements by USCIS about postponing interviews and biometrics appointments and suspending premium processing of work visa petitions, immigration courts postponing non-detained case hearings, and suspension of visa processing at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.
Updated April 9th, 2020
Various government offices including U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Executive Office of Immigration Review (the network of immigration courts) each announced in the last week that certain in-person appointments and court hearings would be rescheduled in order to prevent people gathering and potentially spreading the Coronavirus. USCIS just sent out an announcement that it would extend these closures through May 3, 2020, and it may extend the closures longer if needed. If you’re thinking of applying for immigration benefits in the U.S., you might be wondering if you need to go to immigration during the coronavirus pandemic.
In the last two weeks, our awareness of the Covid-19, or Coronavirus, has greatly increased. Private businesses and government offices are taking steps to avoid “community spread” of the virus – spreading the virus between individuals who are in close proximity to each other. Some immigrants may be wondering, will coronavirus affect my immigration case?
Immigration courts and USCIS offices are places where many people often gather in close quarters, but the government’s response to concerns about the risks of attending immigration court hearings and appointments has been uneven. Here’s what you need to know if you have an immigration application pending or a case in immigration court: