Has USCIS started receiving immigration applications again? Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our office here in St. Louis, Missouri.
In today’s video, we’re going to answer a question that we received from Shelley in our Immigrant Home Facebook group. If you’re not a member of Immigrant Home, you should join it. People post questions, I get ideas for videos, we post the latest immigration news in there, and we’d love to have you join us in Immigrant Home.
Shelley wants to know, is USCIS receiving applications again? And the thing is, in light of the pandemic, USCIS never technically closed.
They still are maintaining operations, although on a very limited basis. So they have stopped as you know, all in person interviews and everything happening on a face to face basis with the public. But in theory, they’re still processing applications. So we are still seeing receipt notices issued. We’re still seeing a work authorizations issued.
We’re still seeing people get their cases underway, and there’s really no reason to wait. They are still issuing cases at the lockboxes, they’re issuing case numbers and receipt numbers, and the cases are underway. So in answer to Shelly’s question, they were never actually closed.
And so there’s a little bit of back and forth in the group about what it means that they’re open. The word on the street is that they’re going to try to reopen on June 4th to interviews and things like that.
We think with the pressure from the president to reopen the country, that there’s going to be a lot of action at USCIS, and we should see things moving along.
Now, we haven’t seen an indication of when things are going to reopen at the embassies. And so, with someone in The White House who doesn’t like immigrants, having a pandemic is a great reason why to not open embassies and not allow immigrants into the United States.
So we’ll have to wait and see what happens at the embassies and the national visa center has been a little slow as well. So everything obviously is slowed down.
Hopefully things will get back to normal on June 4th, but as of now, you can and should still apply for your immigration benefits. There’s no reason to wait.
You always want to get your priority date so that when things get back on track, you’re at the front of the line. There’s really no reason to wait.
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Thanks a lot and have a great day.