USCIS Announces Limited Lockbox Filing Flexibilities Due to COVID-19

June 14, 2021 Ian Love

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it will temporarily offer lockbox filing flexibilities for applicants and petitioners impacted by USCIS lockbox delays. The flexible measures are effective from June 10, 2021 through Aug. 9, 2021.

Background

USCIS implemented the flexible measures to alleviate processing delays at its lockbox facilities caused by COVID-19, high postal service volumes and an  increase in filings, among other factors. The lockbox processing delays have resulted in delayed receipt or rejection notices for some applicants and petitioners who filed their benefit request at a USCIS lockbox.  

Overview

For a 60-day period starting on June 10, 2021 and ending on Aug. 9, 2021, USCIS will allow applicants to resubmit a benefit request, along with a new fee payment, to a USCIS lockbox if the initial request was rejected due to a filing fee payment that expired while the benefit request was awaiting processing.

If USCIS agrees that the benefit request was rejected due to processing delays, it will honor the original benefit request receipt date and wave the $30 dishonored check fee that would normally apply in such situations. This measure applies to benefit requests originally submitted between Oct. 1, 2020 and April 1, 2021.

Additionally, USCIS will let petitioners and applicants submit documentation with a benefit request resubmission proving that an applicant, co-applicant, beneficiary, or derivative is no longer eligible to file for the benefit requested due to a change in age that occurred due to USCIS application processing delays. If USICS agrees that a delayed rejection notice caused the individual to become ineligible due to age, the agency will still honor the request and consider it to have been received on the original date that the benefit request was received.

This flexible measure does not apply to Form N-600K, Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322.

What Should Applicants Know?

Individuals may contact USCIS if they believe their benefit request was rejected due to lockbox processing delays. USCIS will decide if an individual qualifies for flexible measure provisions on a case-by-case basis.

Looking Ahead

Additional information on USCIS filing flexibilities will be provided as available.


Envoy is pleased to provide you this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Ian Love, who is 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.

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