USCIS Extends Certain COVID-19 Flexibilities

August 15, 2022

By Immigration Group

This article was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Loan Huynh, Fredrikson Immigration Department Chair, is a member.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is extending certain COVID-19-related flexibilities through October 23, 2022. Under these flexibilities, USCIS considers a response received within 60 calendar days after the due date set forth in the following requests or notices before taking any action, if the request or notice was issued between March 1, 2020, and October 23, 2022, inclusive:

  • Requests for Evidence
  • Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14)
  • Notices of Intent to Deny, Revoke, Rescind, Terminate (regional center), or Withdraw Temporary Protected Status
  • Motions to Reopen an N-400 Pursuant to 8 CFR 335.5, Receipt of Derogatory Information After Grant

In addition, USCIS will consider a Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, or a Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings (Under Section 336 of the INA), if:

  • The form was filed up to 90 calendar days from the issuance of a decision by USCIS; and
  • USCIS made that decision between November 1, 2021, and October 23, 2022, inclusive.

USCIS also said it has been evaluating which flexibilities should be extended permanently. As a result of this evaluation, the reproduced signature flexibility announced in March 2020 became permanent policy on July 25, 2022. Under that policy, a document may be scanned, faxed, photocopied, or similarly reproduced provided that the copy is of an original document containing an original handwritten signature, unless otherwise specified. For forms that require an original “wet” signature, USCIS will accept electronically reproduced original signatures. Individuals or entities that submit documents bearing an electronically reproduced original signature must also retain copies of the original documents containing the “wet” signature, USCIS said. USCIS may request the original documents at any time, and failure to do so “could negatively impact the adjudication of the immigration benefit.”