As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic took the world by storm, public health departments across the country asked a significant number of “non-essential businesses” to close their doors or have their employees work from home. These orders not only impacted the private sector but the educational system and government offices throughout the country, including the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
On March 18, 2020, USCIS suspended its in-person services at the agency’s field offices, as well as its application support centers and asylum offices, a move made by USCIS to slow down the spread of COVID-19. “USCIS offices will begin to reopen on May 4 unless the public closures are extended further. Employees in these offices are continuing to perform mission-essential services that do not require face-to-face contact with the public,” according to USCIS.
What if I Had an Appointment?
Did you already have an appointment with one of the USCIS’s field or asylum offices or support centers? If so and you are affected by the temporary closure, USCIS should be mailing out an interview cancelation notice to you. USCIS will automatically reschedule your interview and send you a new notice with the new date, time, and location of your interview. Once USCIS re-opens and resumes its normal activities, it will automatically reschedule application support center (ASC) appointments. You can expect to receive a new appointment letter in the mail.
As the nation combats the COVID-19 pandemic, USCIS encourages you to visit the CDC’s website. The agency urges you to practice social distancing, wash your hands frequently with soap, stay home if you feel sick, cover your coughs and sneezes with a bent elbow, avoid all non-essential travel, work from home if possible, call your doctor if you have symptoms of COVID-19 (coughing, fever, shortness of breath), clean frequently-touched surfaces daily, and avoid greetings involving handshakes or hugs