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05/15/2020 – UPDATE EOIR – Non-detained Hearings Postponed through June 12, 2020 and Status of other Immigration Office Closures due to COVID19

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Below, please find the latest information regarding COVID 19 related office closures as of May 15, 2020

Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR): Non-detained Cases postponed through June 12, 2020

On May 15, 2020, EOIR announced that hearings in non-detained cases are postponed through June 12, 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.

Legal representatives are strongly advised to bring their own Personal Protective Equipment (mask, sanitizer, gloves, etc.) when visiting the detention facility.

Attorneys are also encouraged to conduct legal visits with their clients by telephone or by usage of a legal tablet for video conferencing. 

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.

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

Previously, USCIS announced that Field Offices and Application Support Centers (ASC) will reopen for in-person services on or after June 04, 2020.

To date, our office is not aware of any USCIS interviews, Naturalization Oath Ceremonies, or biometric appointments that have been scheduled for June 04, 2020. While it is still possible that appointments and interviews could still be scheduled for as early as June 04, 2020, it is also possible that USCIS will remain closed beyond that date.

As before, 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.

Extension of time to respond to USCIS Requests for Evidence, Notices and Appeals

USCIS has announced an automatic 60-day extension of time to respond to agency Requests for Evidence, Notices of Intent to Deny, Revoke, Rescind or Terminate and denials. Specifically for any RFEs Notices or decisions issued by USCIS between March 1, 2020 and July 1, 2020, the agency will allow an additional 60 days after the due date before taking action on the case.

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

U.S. Department of State (DOS)

The order suspending all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments at U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide remains in effect.

Additionally, President Trump’s proclamation suspending the entry of certain immigrants remains in effect through at least June 23, 2020. For information specific to the Presidential Proclamation, please review blog post, “Trump Order Suspending Entry of Immigrants – COVID-19.”

On March 20, 2020, the U.S. Department of State suspended routine visa services, which include 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

Applicants with an urgent need to travel should follow the guidance provided at the Embassy’s website to request an emergency appointment. For country specific information 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.