Immigration and firm news

Hurricane Harvey and Immigration Issues

In light of the terrible devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and elsewhere, USCIS has posted a list of options available to preserve immigration status. These include:

  • Using the “extraordinary circumstances beyond your control” regulation for delayed filings of change of status or extensions of nonimmigrant stay for an individual currently in the United States;
  • Seeking re-parole of individuals previously granted parole by USCIS;
  • Requesting expedited processing of advance parole applications;
  • Requesting expedited adjudication of requests for off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship;
  • Requesting expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications, where appropriate;
  • Requesting consideration of fee waivers due to an inability to pay;
  • Assistance for those who received a Request for Evidence or a Notice of Intent to Deny but were unable to submit evidence or otherwise respond in a timely manner;
  • Assistance if you were unable to appear for a scheduled interview with USCIS;
  • Requesting expedited replacement of lost or damaged immigration or travel documents issued by USCIS, such as a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card); and
  • Rescheduling a biometrics appointment.

It’s important to also keep track of which USCIS offices are open or closed.  Also, you can communicate with USCIS in several ways as follows:

  • Make an Infopass appointment for in-person questions or activities.
  • Call the 1800# on your fee receipts if you still have those – the case numbers on those receipts will be important.
  • Use the online eRequest system
  • Check with your US Senator or Representative’s Office for help. Each office has a “constituent services” representatives or immigration case workers.
  • Lastly, if you don’t get help or resolution of your matter with any of the above, contact an immigration lawyer to help you out.  Even though we are in Seattle, we can help individuals and employers remotely with many immigration matters. Where local assistance is required, we an collaborate with local counsel as needed.