On March 25, we reported that US Citizenship and Immigration Services had closed all local domestic offices, including asylum offices, field offices, and application support centers, due to COVID-19 contagion risks. Those closures, while initially short term, have been extended several times and remain in effect as of today.
USCIS has now announced that “some” domestic offices will reopen and resume routine procedures beginning June 4, 2020. The public is advised to monitor the USCIS Office Closings website to learn which offices will reopen, and when.
USCIS also announced it will reduce the number of appointments so that waiting rooms are not crowded, monitor visitors’ symptoms and their contact with diagnosed or suspected COVID-19 cases, enforce social distancing with signage and physical barriers, and require the use of masks and hand sanitizer.
During the local office closures, USCIS has conducted no biometrics appointments or interviews for more than two months, but has still processed to approval many case types that normally require these procedures. These include applications to adjust status to permanent resident and to extend nonimmigrant status for visitors and employment-based dependents. When offices reopen with reduced appointment volume, USCIS may continue to approve some cases without in-person procedures in order to avoid developing a large backlog, or may begin requiring these procedures again in all cases. We will continue to monitor agency practices and announcements, and update you here.