USCIS Further Extends Flexibility in Responding to Certain Agency Requests

Certain Agency Requests USCIS to Extend Flexibilities

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently announced that it is again extending the period of flexibility for responding to requests from USCIS, filing Form N-336 and Form I-290B. The extension of this flexibility period is through October 23rd, 2022.

These flexibilities were in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It provided applicants, requesters, and petitioners the flexibility to deal with unusual circumstances. These were last extended in March of this year through July 25th, 2022, when USCIS warned it would not extend the flexibilities any further. However, USCIS has announced it will consider certain requests between March 1st, 2020, and October 23rd, 2022, if received within 60 calendar days of the due date. The exceptions include:

  • “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;
  • Notices of Intent to Withdraw Temporary Protected Status; and
  • Motions to Reopen an N-400 Pursuant to 8 CFR 335.5, Receipt of Derogatory Information After Grant.”

Additionally, for Forms I-90B, Notice Appeal or Motion, and N-336 Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings, USCIS will consider them if:

  • Filed within 90 days of a decision made by the agency; and
  • The decision came between November 1st, 2021, and October 23rd, 2022.

USCIS has also taken an additional and unexpected move regarding its electronically reproduced original signature policy. According to an announcement, “In an effort to take the lessons learned from our pandemic posture, USCIS has been evaluating which flexibilities can and should be extended permanently.” As a result, the agency has announced that it will permanently extend its electronically reproduced signature policy.

Under this policy, it will accept benefit forms and documents that include reproduced original signatures. The USCIS will accept scanned, faxed, photocopied, and similarly reproduced papers of records with an original handwritten signature unless otherwise specified. Those that avail themselves of the policy must retain the original document, however, as the USCIS may request it at any time. If not produced, USCIS warns that this may have an adverse impact on its adjudication of an immigration benefit.

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