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Immigration Client Alert | Israel, Poland, Armenia

The Impact of the Caronavirus on US Immigration

The outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has resulted in unprecedented travel restrictions, cancellation of Embassy services and interviews, and changes to USCIS operations. We provide a brief summary of recent developments and will keep you updated as more adjustments are made which will cause delays in the processing of employment and family based visas.


USCIS Offices Extend Suspension of In-Person Services Until At Least May 3

United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) has suspended in-person interviews and biometrics appointments at local offices until at least May 3, 2020 in response to theCOVID-19 pandemic. 

What does this mean for you?

If you have a green card or naturalization interview which has been scheduled between today and May 3, your interview is cancelled. 

Appointments will need to be rescheduled after USCIS local offices resume operations. Foreign nationals with biometrics appointments at USCIS Application Support Centers will receive cancellation notices. These appointments will be automatically rescheduled. 

NOTE:if you are extending your Employment Authorization Document (EAD), USCIS will use previously submitted biometrics to process the application. This will remain in effect until ASCs are open for appointments to the public.

Premium Processing Suspended for all I-129 and I-140 Petitions:  

Effective March 20, 2020, USCIS indefinitely suspended premium processing for all I-129 and I-140 petitions. USCIS will notify the public when premium processing has been reinstated. 

The suspension includes petitions filed for the following non immigrant categories:  E-1, E-2, H-1B, H-2B,H-3, L-1A, L-1B, LZ (blanket), O-1, O-2, P-1, P-1S, P-2, P-2S, P-3, P-3S, Q-1,R-1, TN-1 and TN-2. The suspension also includes all types of I-140 petitions,including EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3. 

What does this mean for you?

Premium processing assures that your file will be adjudicated within 15 days of receipt. 

Without this service processing of non-immigrant visa and immigrant petitions will take several months. As long as you timely file your extension of status you will remain eligible for an up to 240-day extension of your status beyond the date of your I-94 admission record,where you may remain employed in the U.S. 

NOTE: The delay in processing the visa extension may present an issue when renewing your driver’s license in some states.  You will need to check with your local DMV.

Embassy Cancellation of Routine  Services 

As of March 16, 2020, the United States Embassy in Jerusalem and the Embassy Branch Office in Tel Aviv cancelled routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments. 

No date for resumption of services has been provided. 

The MRV fee paid for the visa interview is valid and may be used for a visa application in Israel within one year of the date of payment.

Best Regards, 

Cindy Azoulay Esq. | Partner - US Immigration Dept.


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Disclaimer: The content herein is provided for information purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice. Readers are advised not act upon the contained information without professional advice.No portion of this newsletter may be reproduced without express permission. © Kan-Tor & Acco law firm

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