Let’s face it, life has gotten a whole lot more complicated lately as a result of Covid-19. Routine activities in our daily lives have been altered or restricted and everything takes longer, including getting appointments and obtaining documents. And for those going through the immigration process, responding to a simple request from the USCIS can be a very difficult, if not impossible task right now.
Immigrants who require civil documents from their home country, like certified birth and other certificates find them impossible to obtain due to office closures and reduced services. As a result, documents which would normally only take a few weeks to obtain may not be available for many, many months.
As a result of such delays, the USCIS has extended the time allowed for applicants and petitioners to respond to letters and notices issued by the agency on pending cases. Under the new extension policy, an additional 60 calendar days from the deadline date will be given to submit a response to a request or notice issued from March 1st through September 11, 2020, which may be extended in the following months. The additional 60 days applies to:
lRequests 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;
Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings and
Filing date requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.
It is important to note, that responses must be received on or before the deadline, not just postmarked by the deadline date.
Also, responses to a request for additional evidence should always be mailed in one package, not in multiple response filings, since once the USCIS receives the first response, the officer will usually make a decision based upon that response, not no anything received later.
Finally, always send responses, appeals, motions via fed-ex or another mail service, overnight.
You can see read the USCIS extension notice by visiting the website at www.Immigratetoday.com and clicking on the Immigration Newsletter link in the upper left-hand corner or by visiting our enewsletter site at: www.americanimmigrationcentral.com
** Contributions to this Column are made by Attorney Caroly Pedersen, Esq. of the American Immigration Law Center