The State of Immigration and COVID-19

Many businesses and government institutions have been disturbed by the pandemic this year, and sadly the immigration process has been no different. In this blog, we compile a list of key changes of operation standards that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services have implemented as the nation continues to weather the storm of COVID-19.

You Can Still Apply for Citizenship

The USCIS has made it clear that applications for citizenship are currently open. However, it would be prudent to expect a longer wait time than usual. This is because the agency still has a large backlog of applications to comb through that were submitted throughout the year during the shutdown.  As more applications come, this backlog will only continue to grow, so it makes sense to prioritize submitting yours as soon as possible.

Furloughs on the Horizon?

USCIS spent much of 2020 dealing with budget issues as a result of the nationwide shutdown. This was only expected given restricted application rates and the fact that a large chunk of their budget comes from application fees. Even still, the agency has managed to avoid resorting to furloughing a large number of employees, which is promising news as the US continues along its road to recovery.

Telephonic Interpreter Policy

On September 23, USCIS enacted a temporary rule requiring applicants to use government issued telephonic interpreters for asylum interviews, rather than providing their own interpreters. The agency is prepared to provide translators for 47 common non-English languages. As of right now, this rule is set to expire on March 22, 2021.

Electronic Signatures Are Now Accepted

Way back in March, USCIS announced that it would now be accepting electronic signatures rather than requiring “wet” signatures on applications. Many believed that this change was long overdue anyway, so there is a good chance that this new policy change will stay in place even after the dust of COVID-19 settles.

Elizabeth Anu Law Can Help You Through the Immigration Process

If you or a loved one is uncertain how to proceed with the immigration process, choose an experienced firm like the Law Office of Elizabeth Anu Lawrence to give you the help you need.  Please give us a call at 443.352.3201. Skype and telephone consultation are both available to clients.

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    Law Office of Elizabeth Anu Lawrence, LLC.
  • Address: 90 Painters Mill Road Suite 201 Owings Mills, Maryland 21117
  • Phone: (443) 352-3201

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