Immigration Help for Those Affected by "Special Situations"

USCIS announced that they will offer assistance for individuals affected by "special situations." USCIS understands that "sometimes natural catastrophes and other extreme situations can occur that are beyond your control." These events cannot be anticipated. They can affect an individual's USCIS application, petition, or immigration status. USCIS will do its best to help individuals get all of the benefits for which they qualify.

Services Offered for "Special Situations"

USCIS first recognizes that when affected by a disaster, an individual may, by no fault of their own, "fall out of status." USCIS may consider the request if you show it is directly connected to the disaster. If you fail to apply before expiration, USCIS may excuse this if the delay was due to "extraordinary circumstances."

USCIS may waive the fee for a USCIS service or benefit due to extraordinary circumstances. Individuals attempting to obtain a fee waiver must file a Form I-912 Request for Fee Waiver.

Additionally, if you are an academic student and a disaster occurring in the United States prevents you from working on-campus, or a disaster overseas affects your economic support, you may need to work off-campus if a disaster has affected your ability to support yourself. You must demonstrate that you are from the affected region and that you have been recommended for employment. You may qualify to receive employment authorization when filing Form I-765.

For Employers

Despite extraordinary circumstances, all Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, requirements remain in place. Visit USCIS's I-9 Central for more information if an employee's documents are lost, stolen, or damaged. The E-Verify system also remains available to employers affected by disasters.

If you lost a USCIS-issued document, and it was not your fault, demonstrate your need for a replacement. To replace a Green Card, you must file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Residence Card. If you need a replacement of Form I-94, you must file Form I-102, Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival/Departure Record. To replace an Employment Authorization Document, you must file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.

In some cases, extraordinary circumstances may prevent you from appearing for a scheduled interview or submitted requested evidence in a timely manner. Show how the extraordinary circumstances affected your ability to appear or submit.

If you need expedited processing due to a special situation, you can make that request either when you file, or after you file.

You can request any of these services by calling the National Customer Service Center. 800-375-5283 (TDD for the deaf and hard of hearing: 800-767-1833).

If you have any questions, or if you have been affected by a special situation, please do not hesitate to contact our legal team directly.

Categories: Immigration News