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USCIS extends the response time for agency communications Immigration

60-day grace extended

To update: Similar to the 60-day extension offered for evidence requests and letters of intent, USCIS announced that it would give certain petitioners an additional 60 days to respond to other categories of notices. These apply to notifications received between March 1, 2020 and January 1, 2021.

These 60 days are in addition to the date stated in the notice. USCIS had announced the closure of all personal services in its field offices and application service centers due to the coronavirus outbreak. Following this, it also provides flexibility in responding to certain communications from USCIS.

READ: Petition to extend the 60-day grace period for H1-B

Which communications have 60 days to reply?

  • Requests for evidence (RFE);
  • Notification Statements (NOID);
  • Notices of intention to withdraw (NOIR);
  • Continuation of Evidence Requirement (N-14);
  • Resignation letters and resignation letters for the termination of regional investment centers; and
  • Filing Date Requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal, or Request.

How should you respond effectively to an RFE?

Here is how

RFE response

What does this 60-day extension mean?

For applicants and petitioners who received the above communications between March 1 and January 1, 2021, USCIS will accept their responses within 60 calendar days of the response due date set in the request or notice before taking action.

The new response deadline is calculated automatically by adding 60 calendar days to the date specified in the USCIS notice. For example, if the USCIS notice asks you to respond by August 30, 2020, you have until October 30, 2020 to respond.

Who is affected by this 60-day extension?

H1-B, L1-A, L1-B, H4-EAD visa holders, family based green card petitioners RFE
Visa applications, work permits, adaptation of status applicants NOID
Immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applicants NOIR
Petitioners applying for naturalization in the US Proof requirement continuation (N-14)
EB-5 applicants and H4-EAD staff Resignation letters and resignation letters for the termination of regional investment centers
Applicant of Form I-140, Immigration Application for Foreign Workers and F1, Student Visa Holders Filing Date Requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal, or Request

Important to know

While USCIS continues to provide flexibility and help minimize the consequences of immigration for those who wish to receive immigration services during the pandemic, it is important that all petitioners consult theirs Legal advisor on immigration issues in answering these instructions.

  • Despite the flexibility offered, all petitioners and their legal representatives should prepare and respond to these communications immediately. The sooner you answer, the faster you will get a decision.
  • Some deadlines could supersede the deadlines offered by USCIS in its last announcement. Each respondent should have a legal professional review the fine print of the notice to determine the exact deadline for each notice.
  • In certain circumstances, I-94 and certain work visas may expire before the extended response deadlines. It is important to know how to react in these cases.

Does your visitor visa expire and you cannot leave the country?

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to extend your US visa

US visa renewal process

  • The 60-day grace period should not be used by the applicants. There are some shortcomings to consider here, caused by the restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic. Be ready to explain the delay in replying if you have to.

The USCIS offices resumed personal service on June 4, 2020. Stay tuned to see what other changes USCIS will announce.

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