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USCIS quits quarantine tomorrow: what immigrants need to know

Tomorrow, June 4, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will open some offices and resume providing some non-emergency services.

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.

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.

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.

On the subject: How to Recognize Immigration Fraud and Protect Yourself: USCIS Recommendations

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.

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.

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;
  • 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.

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