USCIS Ends Pandemic-Related Flexible Deadlines
On March 23, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) terminated its COVID-19-related policy extending deadlines to respond to USCIS notices.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR EMPLOYERS AND FOREIGN NATIONALS
Starting in March 2020, USCIS allowed petitioners and applicants 60 additional calendar days after the stated due date to respond to USCIS requests and notices. That pandemic-driven flexibility ended on March 23, 2023, as previously signaled by USCIS.
Going forward, petitioners and applicants must respond to any notices or requests issued by USCIS after March 23, 2023 by the deadline listed on the notice or request. This includes:
- Requests for Evidence
- Notices of Intent to Deny, Revoke or Rescind
- Notices of Intent to Terminate EB-5 regional centers
- Notices of Intent to Withdraw Temporary Protected Status
- Motion to Reopen an N-400 Pursuant to 8 CFR 335.5, Receipt of Derogatory Information After Grant
Additionally, parties wishing to file Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, or Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings (Under Section 336 of the INA), related to a decision dated after March 23, 2023 must comply with the deadlines set forth in the form instructions.
USCIS SIGNATURE FLEXIBILITY POLICY
As a reminder, reproduced signature flexibility on forms and documents is now permanent USCIS policy. Under the policy, USCIS will accept all benefit forms and documents bearing an electronically reproduced signature. Note that this is different than an electronic signature. The USCIS policy requires that the document may be scanned, faxed, photocopied or similarly produced, provided that the copy is of an original document containing an original handwritten (or “wet”) signature. The original signed form or document bearing the wet signature should be retained, as USCIS may request the original document at any time.
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