As Pandemic Continues, So Does USCIS Flexibility for Responding to Certain Agency Requests

Under normal circumstances, all applicants, petitioners, and requestors must respond to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requests promptly, or the agency can take immediate action to deny applications or deport petitioners.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, USCIS announced flexibilities to help those responding to:

  • Requests for evidence
  • Continuations to request evidence (N-14)
  • Notices of intent to deny, revoke, rescind, or terminate regional centers
  • Motions to reopen an N-400 pursuant to 8 CFR 335.5

USCIS first announced these flexibilities on March 30, 2020, and they will now continue for all requests dated between March 1, 2020, and March 26, 2022.

What Are the New Deadlines?

The agency will wait up to 60 calendar days after the response due date before taking any action and consider all responses sent within 60 days of the due date.

Further, USCIS will consider certain forms filed within 90 calendar days of a decision for decisions made between November 1, 2021, and March 26, 2022, including:

  • Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion
  • Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings (Under Section 336 of the INA)

Previously, petitioners only had 60 calendar days from the decision date to file these forms, and flexibility only applied to decisions issued between March 1, 2020, to October 31, 2021.

More simply, the new extension picks up where the previous one left off.

What Does This Mean for Me?

If you missed a deadline for responding to a USCIS request, you may have more time. You also have more time to appeal or request a hearing on certain decisions made from November 1, 2021, and until March 26, 2022.

The pandemic has caused delays for everyone, but with continuing flexibility, a missed USCIS deadline will not jeopardize your claim. Nevertheless, you will need to submit your response, appeal, or request a hearing as soon as possible – even with USCIS’s flexibility for responding to agency requests.

For more information, please see the press release on the USCIS website (link will open in a new window).

If you need help responding to USCIS or filing the appropriate paperwork by the new deadline, do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Joyce Komanapalli Jones. We can guide you through the entire legal process of immigration with compassion and professionalism. Attorney Joyce Komanapalli Jones has been helping people like you for more than 15 years, and she looks forward to hearing about your case and guiding you through it.

Please call us at (949) 264-0323 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and get the quality representation you need today.