[Updated] USCIS Extends Flexibility Measures for Responding to Agency Requests

March 31, 2022 Ian Love

Note: This page was updated on March 30, 2022 to reflect the most recent announcement from USCIS regarding extended flexible measures that was originally posted on June 24, 2021. Please visit the  USCIS website  for more information.   

March 30 Update: Due to considerations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will  extend flexibilities  to respond to certain agency requests. The flexible measures will be extended through July 25, 2022.  

USCIS will consider applicant responses received within 60 calendar days after the due date posted on an applicable notice or request before it acts. However, this flexibility is only applicable assuming the notice or request was issued by USCIS between March 1, 2020 and July 25, 2022, inclusive. A list of eligible documents is posted in our original story and subsequent updates below.  

USCIS anticipates that this extension may be the last extension granted due to COVID-19, but it has not yet reached a final decision on future extensions. Updates will be provided as available.  

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Note:  This page was updated on Jan. 5, 2022 to reflect the most recent announcement from USCIS regarding extended flexible measures that was posted on June 24, 2021. Please visit the USCIS website for more information.  

Jan. 5 Update: In response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, USCIS announced on Dec. 30 that it will extend its deadline for responding to certain requests for evidence (RFE), notices of intent to deny or revoke (NOIDs), notices of intent to terminate EB-5 regional investment centers, and other notices that were dated between March 1, 2020 and March 26, 2022. Specifically, applicable deadlines will now be extended 60 calendar days past the due date documented on the original notice, response or decision. For example, an original due date of Jan. 2, 2022 for a Request for Evidence will be automatically extended until a due date of March 3, 2022, inclusive.  

Additionally, the agency is now giving employers and foreign nationals 90 days to file a Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, or a Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings, in order to reopen a USCIS decision issued between Nov. 1, 2021 and March 26, 2022. The normal period of time for filing the I-290B is 30 days following the decision being appealed, and USCIS had previously extended the filing time to 60 days for decisions issued from March 1, 2020 to Oct. 31, 2021.  

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Key Points 

  • USCIS is again extending the response period for certain requests, notices and decisions due to COVID-19 

  • USCIS first announced COVID-19 flexible measures on March 20, 2020 

  • The measures apply to the response period permitted for certain requests, notices and decisions issued between March 1, 2020 and Jan. 15, 2022  

  • USCIS will consider a response to the qualifying requests, notices and decisions when received within 60 calendar days after the response due date before taking any action 

Overview 

Due to COVID-19, U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is extending the response period for certain agency requests, notices and decisions. USCIS first introduced the measures on March 20, 2020. 

What are the Changes? 

Extended response periods apply to certain requests, decisions and notices with an issuance date between March 1, 2020 and Jan. 15, 2022. USCIS will consider a response to the qualifying requests, notices and decisions when received within 60 calendar days after the response due date before taking any action. 

Who is Affected? 

The flexible measures apply to the following documents: 

  • Requests for Evidence; 

  • Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14); 

  • Notices of Intent to Deny; 

  • Notices of Intent to Revoke; 

  • Notices of Intent to Rescind; 

  • Notices of Intent to Terminate regional centers; and 

  • Motions to Reopen an N-400 Pursuant to 8 CFR 335.5, Receipt of Derogatory Information After Grant 

Additionally, USCIS will consider a Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings or a Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, provided a decision was made between March 1, 2020 and Jan. 15, 2022, and the form was filed within 60 days from when the agency issued its decision. 

What Should Employers and Applicants Know? 

USCIS will consider a response to the above requests and notices received within 60 calendar days after the response due date set in the request or notice before taking any action. 

Looking Ahead 

USCIS will provide additional updates regarding its COVID-19 policies as available. 

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Envoy is pleased to provide you this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Ian Love, who is a Partner at Global Immigration Associates (GIA), one of the two independent U.S. law firms Envoy exclusively works with on the Envoy Platform (the "U.S. Law Firms").          

Content in this publication is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an attorney at one of the two U.S. Law Firms working with the Envoy Platform or another qualified professional. On non-U.S. immigration issues, consult an Envoy global immigration service provider or another qualified representative.   

About the Author

Ian is a Partner at Global Immigration Associates. His practice focuses on immigrant and nonimmigrant matters for companies ranging from small startups to Fortune 500 companies.

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