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USCIS quarantines: when will offices be opened and what services will be available

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service is preparing some offices for opening and resuming the provision of certain non-emergency services from June 4, 2020, according to the official website USCIS.

Photo: shutterstock

On March 18, USCIS temporarily suspended the provision of face-to-face services in its field offices, asylum offices, and application support centers to stop the distribution of COVID-19. USCIS follows the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to protect its employees and visitors. To find out about the status of a particular office, go to this page.

Although some offices are temporarily closed, USCIS continues to provide limited personalized emergency services. To get these services, call Contact center.

After opening the offices, a reduced number of meetings and interviews will be held to ensure social distance, conduct timely cleaning and reduce the workload of the waiting room. Appointment notifications will contain information on the precautions that visitors to USCIS facilities must follow.

If you feel unwell, do not come to the meeting. Follow the instructions in the meeting notification to reschedule it while you are healthy. If you are sick, no fee will be charged for rescheduling your visit.

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Asylum Offices

USCIS Asylum Offices will automatically reschedule interviews that were canceled during temporary closures. When the USCIS reschedules the interview, asylum seekers will receive a new meeting notice indicating the new time, date and place of the interview, as well as information on precautions.

In accordance with the guidelines for social distancing and because of the length of the asylum interview, the offices expect video interviews. During such interviews, applicants should sit in one room and employees in another. The offices will use accessible technologies, including mobile devices, so that the employee, applicant and translator can fully and safely participate in the interview, while maintaining social distance.

In order to successfully pass asylum interviews, applicants must bring in all the next of kin identified in the application as dependents and an interpreter if the applicant does not speak English. In addition, a representative, witness, a person assisting a person with a disability, or “an adult who is trusted” if the applicant is a minor may attend the interview.

Those who have not been detained by the immigration authorities and should be interviewed for asylum cases involving credible fear and reasonable fear should bring the family members indicated in the interview notice. Representatives may also attend such interviews, but are encouraged to participate by telephone. USCIS will provide professional contract translators for this type of interview.

Naturalization Ceremonies

USCIS will send notifications to applicants for the postponement of deferred naturalization ceremonies. Ceremonies may be shorter in time to limit the risk to those present. Instead of participating in the video during naturalization ceremonies, participants will receive a leaflet with information and links redirecting them to USCIS website. All legally binding parts of the ceremony will be held in abbreviated format.

Only the candidate for naturalization, as well as the person assisting the candidate with a disability, can come to her.

Interviews and Meetings

USCIS will send notifications to applicants about scheduled appointments and interviews. Those present at the reception must comply with the safety rules set out below.

If you had other appointments, transfer them according to the new schedule through USCIS Contact Centeras soon as field offices are open for personal visits. Make sure your the office will be openbefore calling the Contact Center.

An applicant, one representative, one family member and one person providing assistance to people with disabilities may be present. The applicant must arrange for the availability of an interpreter by telephone.

Application Support Centers (ASC)

USCIS will automatically transfer all necessary appointments to ASC, which are canceled due to temporary closure of the office. Individuals will receive a new letter of appointment by mail with specific security requirements.

On the subject: USCIS raises immigration prices: what you need to know

USCIS Entry Guide

Visitors cannot enter the USCIS if they:

  • have any symptoms of COVID-19, including coughing, fever, or shortness of breath;
  • have been in close contact with anyone who knew about the disease or suspected of having COVID-19 for the past 14 days; or
  • over the past 14 days have been sent to self-isolation by a medical professional or health official.

Visitors cannot enter the facility earlier than 15 minutes before their appointment (or 30 minutes before naturalization ceremonies).

A hand sanitizer will be provided at the entry points.

Visitors entering the room should wear masks or other coatings on their faces covering their mouth and nose. You may be asked to take off the mask briefly to confirm your identity or take a photo. At the facilities, marking and signs reminiscent of social distance will be made.

It is recommended that you bring your own ballpoint pens with black or blue ink.

More information on visiting USCIS facilities can be found at uscis.gov/visitorpolicy.

All about USCIS during a pandemic - on page uscis.gov/coronavirus.

In the U.S. immigration to the USA USCIS Immigration in the USA

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