The crisis of the coronavirus and the budget deficit faced by Service of citizenship and immigration of the United States (“USCIS”) suddenly found itself in the hands of immigrants who must apply for a visa, green card or citizenship with a large amount of evidence or documents, writes the Miami Herald.
As the pandemic has slowed down the work of the Agency after June 4, USCIS reopened after the quarantine, immigration authorities have again increased the flexibility of delivery of documents to help immigrants and foreigners to respond to Agency requests.
The initiative of the US government aims to “minimize the consequences for those seeking immigration benefits at this time,” said the Agency. It became known that the USCIS may dismiss nearly three-quarters of their employees, reducing administrative operations, while tens of thousands of foreign citizens are looking forward to their ceremony of naturalization to become U.S. citizens.
These requests and notifications to USCIS, received more flexibility, give the applicants and their counsel the opportunity to intervene in the immigration process, providing more documentation or fixing bugs before the judge will close or reject them, sometimes initiating deportation proceedings.
Immigrants have more time to answer requests USCIS
After the immigrants have applied for immigration benefits and have submitted their forms with the relevant requirements, the immigration authorities usually asked to provide additional evidence to establish the right to these benefits.
July 1, the Agency announced that claimants will have more time to answer the following queries, notice or decision issued in the period 1 March to 11 September 2020:
Requests for evidence (RFE, Request for Evidence)
Notice of intent to deny (NOID, Notices of Intent to Deny)
Notice of intent to revoke (NOIR, Notices of Intent to Revoke)
Notice of intent to cancel and notice of intent to close the regional investment centers (NOIT, Notices of Intent to Rescind and Notices of Intent to Terminate a regional investment centers)
Continuation of request for evidence (N-14, Continuations to Request Evidence)
Requirements for the filing date for the form I-290B, Notice of appeal or motion, (Notice of Appeal or Motion)
N-336, Request for hearing on decision on naturalization (Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings).
Who benefits from the extension of the processing time of the USCIS?
According to a statement by USCIS, flexibility with the deadline for response is provided to applicants and petitioners who receive one of the seven above-mentioned documents, including statements, notices, or decisions.
“Before taking any action, USCIS will consider the response to the above requests and notifications received within 60 calendar days after the response date specified in the request or notification”, — said the Agency.
“We will consider the form N-336 or I-290B, received within 60 calendar days from the date of the decision before taking any action,” added the Agency, citing the form of the request for hearing before immigration officer on the denial of the form N-400, Application for naturalization, and the notice of appeal.
The naturalization ceremony
USCIS confirmed that during a pandemic COVID-19 Agency Department of homeland security is giving priority to the naturalization ceremonies, during which lawful permanent residents become U.S. citizens.
July 1, the Agency also said that on the occasion of independence Day from 1 to 7 July across the country conducted the naturalization ceremony, despite the pandemic.
USCIS has resumed the process of naturalization in early June, in accordance with the new Protocol to protect their employees and the immigrant community. Since been naturalized approximately 64 500 new American citizens.
“The ceremony was short, to limit the contact of those present, including social distancing and other security measures,” — said the Agency.
How to apply for US citizenship
To apply for naturalization, lawful permanent residents must send by mail or over the Internet form N-400, Application for naturalization. The form must be filled out correctly, strictly following these instructions USCIS.
The form must be filed together with the payment of a fee in the amount of $725, including $85 for biometric services. USCIS accepts money orders, credit cards, personal and Bank checks, payable to the Department of homeland security.
The statement also must include all of the listed evidence and supporting documentation. Do not send original documents unless required specifically.
Some of the documents:
two photos passport style;
copy of permanent resident card known as a green card;
copy of valid law document about marital status;
documents for military personnel or their spouses, such as the identity of the military or naval service using form N-426.
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