USCIS Extends COVID Flexibilities, Likely for Last Time
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) again extended certain COVID-19-related flexibilities, this time through March 23, 2023. However, USCIS anticipates that this will be the final extension for these accommodations.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR EMPLOYERS AND FOREIGN NATIONALS
Under this policy, petitioners and applicants have 60 additional calendar days after the due date to respond to USCIS requests and notices issued between March 1, 2020 and March 23, 2023 (inclusive), including:
- 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
For USCIS decisions issued between November 1, 2021 and March 23, 2023 (inclusive), applicants will have 90 additional calendar days from the date of decision notice to file a Form I-290B appeal or motion, or Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings.
Absent unforeseen developments with the pandemic, USCIS does not intend to extend these flexibilities beyond March 23, 2023.
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.