On March 30, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) extended the deadlines to respond to certain requests due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the pandemic continued, USCIS further extended the announced extensions on several occasions. In its latest announcement, USCIS indicated that it will consider a response received within 60 calendar days after the due date set forth in certain requests, notices or decisions before taking any action, if the issuance date on the request, notice or decision is between March 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021.
Undoubtedly, the aforementioned time filing provided relief to many applicants who were required to respond to USCIS requests, notices or decisions. This measure, however, failed to protect applicants who were impacted by extremely long delays in receiving receipt notices or rejection notices upon filing their application with a USCIS Lockbox. In particular, many rejection notices were due solely to the filing fee payment expiring while the request was awaiting processing with USCIS, and because of the delay, some applicants had reached an age that made them ineligible to refile their application.
To provide relief to impacted applicants, on June 10, 2021, USCIS provided limited time filing flexibilities for eligible applicants to allow for refiling of their rejected submission with a USCIS Lockbox. The rule provides the following filing flexibilities and eligibility criteria:
Time filing flexibilities: Effective from June 10, 2021 to August 9, 2021.
a) Submission was made to a USCIS Lockbox between October 1, 2020 and April 1, 2021;
b) Submission was rejected by USCIS between October 1, 2020 and April 1, 2021;
c) Rejection was due solely to a filing fee payment expiring while the request was awaiting processing with USCIS; and
d) Because of the delay in USCIS processing, the individual has reached an age that makes him/her ineligible to file for the benefit sought.
If you have any questions about USCIS filing flexibilities, or any other immigration matter, contact our attorneys at the Law Offices of Azita M. Mojarad, P.C. Our experienced immigration attorneys can address your concerns and advise you of the proper course of action.