First and foremost, immigration courts in the United States and consulates abroad, like other entities and businesses have been closed to the public since late February and into March. The United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices closed on March 18th and have plans to begin re-opening on June 4th. Applications may still be submitted online. Biometrics appointments, green card ceremonies, and interviews (in-person appointments have been suspended). Consulates abroad remain closed at this time but will begin to re-open on an individual basis.
The recent immigration executive order (April 2020) does not change much more than what is stated above. Due to the consulate closures, pending consular processing cases are on pause.
If you or a loved one is in the process of consular processing, this does NOT mean the case will be denied, but that it is on “pause” for the time being. At this time the order is in effect for 60 days but is subject to extension.
Due to the closure of immigration courts and USCIS ALL cases are subject to delay in processing. COVID-19 has caused delays and closures across the world and immigration processing is no exception.
This does NOT impact those who are already present in the United States.
Additionally, the executive order has many exceptions to who will be impacted. The following list is those who the executive order WILL NOT apply to:
- any lawful permanent resident of the United States
- any alien seeking to enter the United States on an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional; to perform medical research or other research intended to combat the spread of COVID-19; or to perform work essential to combating, recovering from, or otherwise alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees; and any spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old of any such alien who are accompanying or following to join the alien
- any alien applying for a visa to enter the United States pursuant to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program
- any alien who is the spouse of a United States citizen
- any alien who is under 21 years old and is the child of a United States citizen, or who is a prospective adoptee seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications
- any member of the United States Armed Forces and any spouse and children of a member of the United States Armed Forces
- any alien seeking to enter the United States pursuant to a Special Immigrant Visa in the SI or SQ classification, subject to such conditions as the Secretary of State may impose, and any spouse and children of any such individual.
- any alien whose entry would further important United States law enforcement objectives, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees, based on a recommendation of the Attorney General or his designee
- any alien whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees.
Whether the Executive Order or closings due to Coronavirus will impact your immigration case is something that you should ask your immigration attorney. Griffith Xidias Law Group offers free consultations for those who need representation in an immigration case.
You can contact us at (317) 236-0486, or visit us at 777 Beachway Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46224, in person, by appointment only, or at www.IndyImmigrationLaw.com, or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here for you.