08 May USCIS Updates: Request for Evidence Responses and I-551 Stamping Appointments
Washington, D.C., May 8, 2020: In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it is extending a measure recently adopted to assist applicants and petitioners who are responding to requests for evidence (RFEs) and notices of intent to deny (NOIDs).
USCIS’ announcement today confirms that for applicants and petitioners who receive an RFE or NOID dated between March 1 and July 1, 2020, any responses submitted within 60 calendar days after the response deadline set forth in the RFE or NOID will be considered by USCIS before any action is taken.
The announcement confirms that the extension measure applies to the following USCIS requests:
- Requests for Evidence;
- Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14);
- Notices of Intent to Deny;
- Notices of Intent to Revoke;
- Notices 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 Motio
Although the announcement is welcome news to applicants and petitioners who are responding to USCIS requests during the COVID-19 pandemic, the piece-meal measure and extension are still incredibly narrow given the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating effects on U.S. companies and foreign visa applicants. USCIS has still not considered issuing a broad moratorium on filing deadlines for Extension of Status or expiry of valid visa status, as many countries around the world have already implemented months ago.
Emergency I-551 Stamping During USCIS Office Closures:
USCIS offices remain closed for in-person appointments until at least June 3, 2020. Our office has received numerous inquiries on how lawful permanent residents (green card holders) can obtain an I-551 (ADIT) stamp in their passport before their current 18-month extension notice expires. This situation directly applies to conditional permanent residents with a pending I-829 or I-751 petition.
Our office has received confirmation that the USCIS Contact Center (1-800-375-5283) continues to schedule local office appointments for those seeking an I-551 (ADIT) stamp in their passport “where there is an emergent need”.
Examples of a situation where an appointment will likely be scheduled include a need to document green card status for employment verification purposes or necessary international travel. USCIS will unlikely entertain an emergency stamping request unless the individual is within 30 days from the expiration date of their 18-month conditional residency extension according to their I-829 or I-751 receipt notice.
When calling USCIS to request an emergency appointment for an I-551 stamp, the individual must clearly explain the reason for which the request is being made (i.e. employment authorization, emergency international travel, driver’s license extension, etc.). Individuals who call USCIS to make an emergency stamping appointment and are unsuccessful should request to speak to a supervisor.
Please visit uscis.gov/coronavirus for latest facts and other USCIS updates.
Donoso & Partners, a leading immigration law firm based in Washington, D.C., will continue to report on developments regarding the immigration law and policy through our news section of donosolaw.com.