Friday, September 18, 2015

Extension of Temporary Immigration Relief Measures for Individuals Affected by Typhoon Soudelor

From USCIS: On Aug. 2, 2015, Typhoon Soudelor caused extensive damage in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). USCIS reminds customers affected by Typhoon Soudelor that certain U.S. immigration benefits or relief may be available to them.

USCIS understands that a natural disaster can affect an individual’s ability to maintain lawful immigration status or obtain certain other immigration benefits. USCIS previously adopted temporary relief measures to assist individuals affected by Typhoon Soudelor through Sept. 2, 2015. USCIS is now extending these temporary relief measures by an additional 60 days through Nov. 2, 2015.

Eligible individuals may request or apply for temporary relief measures, including:
  • A change or extension of nonimmigrant status for an individual currently in the United States, even when the request is filed after the authorized period of admission has expired;
  • Extension or re-parole of individuals previously granted parole by USCIS;
  • Expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications; and
  • Assistance to lawful permanent residents (LPR) stranded overseas without immigration or travel documents, such as a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card). USCIS and the Department of State will coordinate on these matters when LPRs are stranded in a place that does not have a local USCIS office.
USCIS may also exercise its discretion to allow for filing delays resulting from the typhoon. This may include, for example:
  • Assistance to those who have not appeared for an interview or submitted required forms of evidence. You may show how the typhoon prevented you from appearing or submitting documents as required; or
  • Assistance to those who have not been able to respond to a request for evidence (RFE) or notice of intent to deny (NOID). USCIS will extend the deadline for individuals to respond to RFEs or NOIDs by at least 30 days. This will apply to all RFEs and NOIDs with a deadline of Aug. 2 through Nov. 2, 2015. During this time, USCIS will not issue denials based on abandonment of an application or petition in the CNMI. 
USCIS will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updated guidance as needed.
To learn how to request relief or more about how USCIS assists customers affected by unforeseen circumstances in their home country, visit uscis.gov/humanitarian/special-situations or call the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 (TDD for the hearing impaired: 1-800-767-1833).

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