If you’ve been following the news lately, you’ve probably heard that USCIS is planning to furlough a majority of its employees because it needs more money. USCIS Deputy Director Joseph Edlow has stated that USCIS, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), will have to furlough most of its employees by the end of August unless Congress approves additional funding for the agency.
Last week, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it is preparing to reopen some domestic offices to the public for non-emergency services beginning June 4th. USCIS will follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines to protect both the public and USCIS workers.
Since March 18, 2020, USCIS field offices have been closed to the public for in-person services due to COVID-19. That closure is scheduled to end on June 4, 2020 when USCIS is slated to reopen to the public. As an immigration law office in Houston, we have had many questions regarding immigration cases. Here's what you need to know regarding your USCIS appointments.
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.