U.S. Citizenship and ImmigrationServices Offices are Reopening
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the reopening of their field offices and Application Support Centers (ASC) on or after June 04, 2020. USCIS will have new guidelines to protect their personal and the public.
USCIS plans to reduce the number of appointments and interviews schedule to ensure social distancing. New appointments notices will have information on new safety precautions their personal and public must follow.
USCIS announced their asylum offices will send new interview notices. Asylum applicants will be receiving new notices with date, time, location, and safety procedures. Asylum offices will conduct video interviews, where the applicants sit in one room and asylum officers sit in another room to follow the social distancing guidelines. The new guidelines will only allow the applicant, derivates listed in the application, and interpreters only if the applicant does not speak English. For non-detained credible or reasonable fear interviews they will allow applicants to bring family members listed on the interview notice. Representatives will be allowed but are encouraged to participate via telephone. Last, USCIS will provide contracted professional interpreters.
USCIS will send notices to reschedule previous naturalization ceremonies with new guidelines regarding safety procedures. New ceremonies will be shorter to limit exposure to those in attendance. Instead of playing videos during naturalization ceremonies, attendees will receive a flyer with information and links directing them to the videos on the USCIS website. All legally required portions of the ceremony will take place.
Interviews and Appointments
USCIS will send notices to applicants and petitioners who had previously scheduled appointments and interviews. If an applicant had other appointments such as InfoPass the applicant must reschedule through the USCIS Contact Center once the field offices are open to the public. Check USCIS’s office closure page for the status of your field office.
Visitors are limited to the applicant, one representative, one family member, and one individual providing disability accommodations if applicable. The applicant should arrange to have their interpreter available via telephone.
Application Support Centers
While USCIS field offices and asylum offices are expected to begin to reopen on June 4, 2020, ASC offices are expected to resume services later. USCIS will automatically reschedule any necessary ASC appointments and mail a new appointment letter with the new safety requirements. Individuals who appear at a date or time other than what is listed on the ASC appointment notice may encounter significant processing delays, except for military members.
NEW USCIS Facilities Safety and Guidelines
Visitors may not enter a USCIS facility if they:
Have any symptoms of COVID-19, including cough, fever or difficulty breathing;
Have been in close contact with anyone known or suspected to have COVID-19 in the last 14 days; or
Have been individually directed to self-quarantine or self-isolate by a health care provider or public health official within the last 14 days.
Visitors may not enter the facility more than 15 minutes prior to their appointment (30 minutes for naturalization ceremonies).
Hand sanitizer will be provided for visitors at entry points.
Members of the public must wear facial coverings that cover both the mouth and nose when entering facilities. Visitors may be directed to briefly remove their face covering to confirm their identity or take their photograph.
There will be markings and physical barriers in the facility; visitors should pay close attention to these signs to ensure they follow social distancing guidelines.
Individuals are encouraged to bring their own black ink pens.
More information on visiting USCIS facilities can be found at uscis.gov/visitorpolicy.