More than many recent years, 2017 has suffered its fair share of natural disasters. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) understands that these natural disasters can have devastating implications across all facets of your life. If you or your family has suffered and your immigration status might be negatively impacted, the U.S. government offers immigration services that may help you navigate these unforeseen circumstances.
In a recent alert to their website, the USCIS listed several measures that might be available to individuals and families who have felt the impact of a natural disaster. The following measures might be available on a case by case basis:
- If you failed to apply for the extension of a nonimmigrant stay or the changing of a nonimmigrant status and the delay was due to extraordinary circumstances.
- The re-parole of individuals previously granted parole by USCIS
- Expedited processing of advance parole requests
- Expedited adjudication of requests for off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship
- Expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications, where appropriate
- Consideration of fee waivers due to an inability to pay
- Assistance for those who received a Request for Evidence or a Notice of Intent to Deny but were unable to submit evidence or otherwise respond in a timely manner
- Assistance if you were unable to appear for a scheduled interview with USCIS
- Expedited replacement of lost or damaged immigration or travel documents issued by USCIS
- Rescheduling a biometrics appointment
Natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, typhoons or floods can dramatically alter the landscape and have a devastating impact on all aspects of your life – personally and professionally. If circumstances surrounding you or your family’s immigration status have changed dramatically following a natural disaster, it is wise to learn more about your options. An experienced immigration attorney can explain how you might be able to change due dates or reschedule appointments based on certain criteria.