Today, USCIS announced that as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the agency will continue two sensible, flexible policies that have been popular with practitioners and clients.
First, as detailed in the news release below, USCIS will continue to extend deadlines to respond to certain requests or notices such as RFEs, NOIDs, and etc. (Full list below)
Second, USCIS confirmed that starting on July 25, 2022, the agency’s policy of accepting reproduced, scanned signatures will become permanent. As a reminder, scanned signatures must be of a “wet” original (not a docusign or similar e-signatures.
USCIS Extends COVID-19-related Flexibilities
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is extending certain COVID-19-related flexibilities through Oct. 23, 2022, to assist applicants, petitioners, and requestors. Under these flexibilities, USCIS considers a response received within 60 calendar days after the due date set forth in the following requests or notices before taking any action, if the request or notice was issued between March 1, 2020, and Oct. 23, 2022, inclusive:
- Requests for Evidence;
- Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14);
- Notices of Intent to Deny;
- Notices of Intent to Revoke;
- Notices of Intent to Rescind;
- Notices of Intent to Terminate regional centers;
- Notices of Intent to Withdraw Temporary Protected Status; and
- Motions to Reopen an N-400 Pursuant to 8 CFR 335.5, Receipt of Derogatory Information After Grant.
In addition, USCIS will consider a Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, or a Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings (Under Section 336 of the INA), if:
- The form was filed up to 90 calendar days from the issuance of a decision we made; and
- We made that decision between Nov. 1, 2021, and Oct. 23, 2022, inclusive.
In an effort to take the lessons learned from our pandemic posture, USCIS has been evaluating which flexibilities can and should be extended permanently. As a result of this evaluation, the reproduced signature flexibility announced in March, 2020, will become permanent policy on July 25, 2022.
Please visit uscis.gov/coronavirus for USCIS updates.