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The USCIS Announces Office Reopenings

6/3/2020
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United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will begin reopening certain field and asylum offices and resume non-emergency, in-person services on June 4th. The reopening is a fluid situation and USCIS is encouraging visitors to check their office closures webpage on the day of their appointment in the event of an office closure or temporary change of hours. 
 
Increased Health Precautions 
 
USCIS is taking steps to increase the safety of office visitors and working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through their reopened offices. With this in mind, visitors may not enter a USCIS facility if they have symptoms of COVID-19—such as coughing, fever, or difficulty breathing—have been in contact with anyone known or suspected of having COVID-19 in the past 14 days, or have been directed by a healthcare provider or public health official to self-quarantine or self-isolate within the past 14 days. 
 
Other safety precautions being taken by USCIS include: 
 
  • Visitors may not enter a facility more than 15 minutes before their appointment and 30 minutes before naturalization ceremonies 
  • Hand sanitizer is provided at entry points 
  • Visitors are required to wear a face covering that encloses both the mouth and nose; however, they may be asked to briefly remove their covering to confirm their identity or to take their photograph
  • Establishment of signs and barriers to ensure social distancing guidelines are followed
  • Visitors are encouraged to bring their own black- or blue-ink pens 
 
USCIS Interviews and Appointments
 
Applicants and petitioners who had previously scheduled appointments and interviews disrupted by COVID-19 closures will receive notices from USCIS. Those who had other appointments must reschedule through the USCIS Contact Center. In addition to the aforementioned precautions, there are additional health measures visitors attending in-person interviews and appointments must follow: 
 
  • Visitors are limited to the applicant, one representative, one family member, and one individual providing disability accommodations
  • If an interpreter is required, the applicant must arrange to have their interpreter available by phone
 
Naturalization Ceremonies
 
USCIS is sending notices to applicants to reschedule postponed naturalization ceremonies. Naturalization ceremonies will be adapted to promote the health and well-being of attendees. Changes include: 
 
  • Ceremonies will be shorter in length
  • In place of playing videos at ceremonies, attendees will receive flyers with information and links directing them to videos on the USCIS website
  • Attendance is limited to the naturalization candidate and individuals providing assistance to disabled persons
 
GoffWilson Immigration Law 
 
As USCIS begins to reopen, GoffWilson remains a resource to the immigrant community and employers, organizations, and committees that support them. We will continue to post current information on our blawg and keep our resource center up to date with the latest forms and guidance. If you have a question or simply need one-on-one assistance, contact GoffWilson today. Immigration isn’t just what we do, it’s our passion!
 
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