U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it would extend flexible measures for responding to certain requests and notices from the agency through Oct. 23, 2022. Additionally, the agency announced starting today, it has permanently adopted the policy of allowing applicants to submit electronically reproduced signatures.

The agency first introduced the measures in March 2020 because of COVID-19 and has extended them numerous times, most recently in March 2022.

Key Points:

  • Under the extension of temporary flexible deadlines, petitioners and applicants will continue to have an additional 60 days beyond the due date to respond to certain requests and notices issued by USCIS.
  • The extension applies to the following documents with an issuance date between March 1, 2020, and Oct. 23, 2022, inclusive.
    • 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.
    • Motions to Reopen an N-400 Pursuant to 8 CFR 335.5, Receipt of Derogatory Information After Grant.
  • USCIS also said it is evaluating which temporary policies should be made permanent, and that the flexible policy allowing electronically reproduced signatures announced in March 2020 is now a permanent policy.

Additional Information: USCIS will consider a Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, or Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings (Under Section 336 of the INA), if:

  • The form was filed up to 90 calendar days from the issuance of a decision; and
  • USCIS made the decision between Nov. 1, 2021, and Oct. 23, 2022, inclusive.

More information on USCIS’ response to the pandemic is available here.

BAL Analysis: Petitioners and individuals will have more time to respond to the designated requests under the extended temporary measures. The decision to permanently allow electronically reproduced signatures is welcome news. Petitioners and individuals are reminded that the reproduced signature must be of an original handwritten signature and they must retain copies of original documents containing the wet signatures.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

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