COVID-19’s Impact on Immigration

 In Blog

According to the World Health Organization, China reported a cluster of cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, Hubei Province on December 31, 2019. What began as a seemingly innocuous bout of pneumonia has now taken the entire world by storm. Borders are closing, stores are shutting down, and people are being forced to stay indoors for the foreseeable future. 

A Beacon of Hope in a Time of Uncertainty

As we enter the month of April, the reality of the COVID-19 situation has finally started to set in all across the country. Everything has been seemingly put on hold for the time being. This is especially pertinent for those who were on track to becoming American citizens. With the closing of the borders and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offices temporarily closed to the public, it’s as if would-be citizens are finding themselves in a limbo within a limbo. If you’re unsure or uncertain about your future, then the Law Firm of Smith, Alston, Darner, and Lee can help.

Routine USCIS In-Person Services Temporarily Suspended Until May 3

In a response to slow the spread of COVID-19, USCIS has temporarily suspended routine in-person services from March 18 to, at least, May 3. This doesn’t mean the USCIS is fully closed; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. USCIS staff continues to work, performing duties that do not require contact with the public. In some instances, USCIS can work with individuals who require emergency services. This, however, will only be available in “limited situations,” according to the USCIS website.

As a law firm that provides immigration law services, we understand the intricacies of our nation’s immigration system. Even when there isn’t a nation-wide lockdown in place, the immigration process can be incredibly daunting. Now with the obstacle of COVID-19 looming over everything, immigration issues have become all the more difficult. But we’re here to let you know that you’re not alone. Even if you’re required to self-isolate, know that the legal team at Smith, Alston, Darner, and Lee are ready to help and only a phone call away. 

COVID-19 Concerns Regarding Immigration Issues

Hearing the news that the USCIS is closed can make anyone feel uncertain and anxious about their future. But we’re here to provide the necessary information you need in order to feel comfortable. When it comes to certain immigration issues such as asylum, DACA, or extensions for employment authorization documents, time is of the essence. Here’s how the USCIS will deal with these scenarios:

Asylum appointments

  • Since all in-person appointments have been canceled, for the time being, the USCIS will reach out to those who had scheduled asylum appointments with cancelation notices. The original appointment will be automatically rescheduled so you won’t be required to go through the entire process once more, you’ll just have to wait for the new appointment date. Again, if this sudden change causes turmoil in your life, our law firm can help. It may feel as if you’re more alone than ever before, but we’re here for you.

DACA

  • Although the USCIS in-person services are currently on hold, application processing is still taking place. If you’re a DACA recipient who needs to renew your status, you can still do so. Whether your DACA is about to expire or it’s expiring in late 2020, it’s in your best interest to consider renewing sooner rather than later. The USCIS will use previously submitted biometrics in order to process renewals for those who had scheduled appointments during the closure. This is where misinformation can negatively impact your life so let us repeat this for emphasis, the USCIS is still functioning and processing applications. If you’re unsure about how to proceed or if you have any questions about your DACA status, then give us a call.

Extensions for employment authorization documents

  • If you scheduled an appointment at an application support center or filed a Form I-765 extension, then your application will still be processed by the USCIS using previously submitted biometrics. We understand the uncertainty you may be feeling, which is why we’re available to answer any questions you may have regarding your extension or the process itself. 

Providing Legal Assistance for Those Facing Immigration Issues Amid COVID-19

In the wake of COVD-19, correct information is more important than ever before. This is especially pertinent to immigration issues. As Mesa, Arizona’s foremost immigration firm, Smith, Alston, Darner, and Lee, Attorneys at Law understand exactly what you’re facing. Don’t let misinformation result in deportation. If you have questions or concerns about your legal status or you’re uncertain about applications, we can help. Give our team a call today to learn more. 

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