This post was originally published on Friday, March 20, 2020 and was updated on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced on March 21st that, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, they will accept all benefit forms and documents with reproduced original signatures, including the Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, for submissions starting on March 21, 2020.
In addition, the DOL announced on March 25, 2020 that certified PERM applications will now be sent via email as compared to postal mail. In addition, instead of requiring original signatures on PERM applications, GIA will be requesting companies and foreign nationals to upload copies of their signed PERM application when preparing I-140 matters through June 30, 2020.
Starting Saturday, March 21, 2020, USCIS will provide an exception that copies of originally signed forms will be accepted in lieu of wet ink signatures. This is to help with the challenges both employers and law firms will experience as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. In addition, on March 25, 2020, the DOL announced that certified PERM applications would be sent to law firms and companies via email as compared to postal mail.
Who Does This Impact?
This change impacts signatories for employers and foreign nationals seeking an immigration benefit.
How are Envoy and GIA responding?
GIA will use copies of required signed pages to submit petitions to USCIS and will continue to do so until USCIS reverts back to their standard protocol in requiring the original forms.
What do I need to do next?
A member of the Envoy team will be reaching out to customers with the relevant forms that need to be signed in order to move cases forward.
Envoy is pleased to provide you this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Ryan Bay, who is a Partner at Global Immigration Associates, P.C. (www.giafirm.com), Envoy’s affiliated law firm.
Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an Envoy-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.