Updated on March 30, 2020. USCIS has now clarified that the response date flexibility also applies to certain Notices of Intent to Revoke (NOIR) and Notices of Intent to Terminate (NOIT) regional investment centers, as well as certain filing date requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.  In summary, the USCIS announcement applies to an RFE, NOID, NOIR, NOIT or appealable decision within AAO jurisdiction and the issuance date listed on the request, notice or decision is between March 1, 2020 and May 1, 2020, inclusive. Unfortunately this guidance still does not address the issues relating to requests, dated prior to March 1st, but due now, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Seyfarth will keep you updated with any further clarifications.

Posted on March 27, 2020. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the difficulties applicants and petitioners are facing in meeting immigration related deadlines, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has extended response deadlines by 60 days for certain types of Requests for Evidence (RFEs) and Notices of Intent to Deny (NOIDs). It is important to note that this accommodation does not change individual status expiration dates, or auto extension dates for employment authorizations.

Q. What does this mean for employers and sponsored foreign nationals?

A. Where the USCIS has issued an RFE or NOID dated between March 1 and May 1, 2020, the agency will accept responses submitted within 60 calendar days after the original response deadline in the RFE or NOID.

Q. What type of applications/petitions will not benefit from the USCIS announcement?

A.  As of March 27th the USCIS has not granted any flexibility for applications for extensions of stay or employment authorization. This means that all applications must continue to be filed timely.

Q. Will Work Authorizations, that are due to expire, be extended by the USCIS announcement?

A.  No, the USCIS has not granted any extensions.

Q. My I-94 is due to expire this month and I was not eligible for an extension of my work visa. Now, I can’t return to my country due to travel restrictions, does this USCIS announcement help me?

A. No, the USCIS announcement does not extend your authorized period of stay in the U.S. Speak to your immigration attorney and consider an application to change to B status.

Seyfarth continues to advocate for changes to this process and is partnering with various clients and other groups to effectuate meaningful change. We will provide updates as they become available.