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04/28/2020 – UPDATE on USCIS, EOIR, and DOS COVID 19 Related Office Closures

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Below, please find the latest information regarding COVID 19 related office closures as of April 28, 2020

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): - Temporary office closures extended through June 04, 2020

USCIS announced on April 24, 2020 that they are extending the temporary suspension of in-person services at least through June 04, 2020. USCIS advised that Local Field Offices and in-person services at local offices and support centers are preparing to re-open offices in compliance with state and local state orders on or after June 04, 2020.

In-person services include anyone with a scheduled interview at a Field Office - Adjustment of Status or Green Card interviews, Naturalization interviews, or Asylum interviews - anyone scheduled to appear for their Naturalization Oath Ceremony; or anyone requiring any other in-person service or InfoPass appointments.

Application Support Centers (ASC) are also closed until at least June 04, 2020.

When USCIS resumes normal operations, those whose interviews, ASC appointments, or Naturalization oath ceremonies were cancelled due to the temporary closures will automatically be rescheduled and will receive a new interview notice with the new date, time, and location for the interview.

USCIS will continue to provide emergency services for limited situations. Any emergency appointment must be scheduled through the USCIS Contact Center (I-800-375-5283).

Importantly, USCIS Service Centers processing applications by mail remain open and active. Therefore, individuals, families and employers can continue to file applications for immigration benefits with the appropriate USCIS Service Center at this time. 

One important change is that USCIS has announced the temporary suspension of Premium Processing for all I-140 (employment-based immigrant) and I-129 (Employment-based non-immigrant) petitions. Therefore, employers should expect to allow extra processing time for these petitions during this health crisis.

More information and further updates from USCIS can be found at https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/uscis-response-covid-19.

Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR): Non-detained Cases postponed through May 15, 2020.

On April 21, 2020, EOIR announced that hearings in non-detained cases are postponed through May 15, 2020. This order applies to all non-detained cases nationwide.

The Denver Immigration Court – located at 1961 Stout Street, Denver, Colorado – is still open to receive any necessary case filings or document submissions.

The Denver Court has encouraged attorneys and individuals appearing in removal proceedings to submit all filings electronically through its pilot electronic “ECAS” Filing System or via email during this time.

Those whose hearing dates are effected by the temporary court closure will receive a new hearing notice with the new date and time for their next hearing in the mail.

The Aurora Immigration Court – located at the Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) / GEO Group Detention Center at 3130 North Oakland Street, Aurora, Colorado – is still open and conducting Bond Hearings, Master Calendar Hearings and Individual Merits Hearings.

The Aurora Court has issued several Standing Orders related to telephonic appearance by counsel during the COVID-19 Epidemic.

Kolko & Casey attorneys and our colleagues around the country remain very concerned about the health and safety of individuals detained at the Aurora facility, as well as the Immigration Judges, ICE Attorneys and staff working in the facility.

More information and further updates from EOIR can be found at https://www.justice.gov/eoir/eoir-operational-status-during-coronavirus-pandemic#operational_status.

U.S. Department of State (DOS) - Most Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa Services Suspended Until Further Notice

The U.S. Department of State has temporarily suspended routine visa services, at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates, including all immigrant and nonimmigrant visa interviews and appointments.

The Department of States advises that routine services will resume as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time.

Embassies and Consulates intend to continue processing nonimmigrant H-2 visas for temporary agricultural workers as much as possible and those applying under this category should got to https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/important-announcement-on-h2-visas.html

For a list of country specific information regarding available services please go to https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/COVID-19-Country-Specific-Information.html

Kolko & Casey, P.C. is closely monitoring this swiftly changing situation. If you have questions about how an agency closure is impacting your case, please contact Kolko & Casey, P.C. at (303) 371-1822.

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Kolko & Casey, P.C. is a full service immigration and naturalization law firm providing professional legal services to individuals and businesses throughout Colorado, the Rocky Mountain West, the United States, and the World. Our professional staff speaks English, Spanish, Korean, and Portuguese and we can arrange for translators in any other language.