05/22/2020: USCIS announced that it will begin reopening its field offices, application support centers and asylum offices on June 4, 2020. The offices were closed on March 18, following the Presidential Emergency Declaration to stop the spread of COVID-19. While the agency remains closed for public interaction, USCIS officers that handle and process petitions and applications in Service Centers and Field Offices were continuing their work.
Applicants with interviews scheduled from mid-March to June 4 have received notices in the mail informing them or their attorneys of the cancellations. Applicants with biometrics appointments to capture fingerprints were also informed of cancellations. USCIS informed these applicants that once the offices were open to the public it would mail information with rescheduled dates and times.
On March 30, 2020, USCIS extended the time to respond for certain applicants with Requests for Evidence; Continuations to Request Evidence; Notices of Intent to Deny; Notices of Intent to Revoke; Notice of Intent to Rescind and Notices of Intent to Terminate Regional Investment centers and Filing Date Requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion received between March 1, 2020 and July 1, 2020, by 60 calendar days. USCIS is offering applicants the extra time because of Safer at Home requirements adopted by many counties nationwide that would have made it difficult to meet with attorneys, collect and compile evidence and submit to USCIS.
USCIS also announced that it will permit applicants to send all benefit forms and documents with copies of signatures, such as on faxes or scanned copies, for submissions dated March 21, 2020, and beyond because of the pandemic. A document may be scanned, faxes, photocopied, or reproduced as long as the copy was of an original document containing an original “wet” signature and the applicant retained the original. USCIS will accept electronic signatures for the duration of the National Emergency.