U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has said it will make special measures available on a case-by-case basis for those affected by Hurricane Irma. The hurricane disrupted immigration and consular services in Florida and other parts of the South, but offices are beginning to reopen this week.

Key points:

  • Special measures, including changes of status, extensions of status, expedited processing of service or benefit requests, replacement of damaged green cards or other documents issued by USCIS, fee waivers, and other benefits may be available on a case-by-case basis. Individuals may request a special measure by calling the National Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283.
  • Special measures were also extended to those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
  • USCIS field offices and application support centers remained closed Wednesday in parts of Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Some offices were expected to reopen Thursday, but most offices in Florida are expected to remain closed through the end of the week. An up-to-date list of all USCIS closings is available on this website.
  • Visa applicants who missed appointments because of the closures are reminded that some appointments are automatically rescheduled, while others must be rescheduled by the applicant. Generally, appointments for interviews and for biometrics are automatically rebooked, but InfoPass or other appointments must be rescheduled by the applicant. Information about how to reschedule appointments is available on this USCIS website.
  • Some foreign consulates in Miami, meanwhile, reopened this week while others remained closed. The German and Italian consulates, for example, reopened Wednesday after shutting their doors late last week. The French consulate remained closed on Wednesday, but is expected to reopen offering limited services Thursday. The Spanish consulate said in a Facebook post that it was unable to provide services Wednesday because of an ongoing power outage. Those in need of consular services in areas hit by the hurricane should contact the consulate ahead of time to confirm that it is open. Those who missed an appointment and have not been contacted about rescheduling it may wish to contact the consulate to set up a new appointment.

BAL Analysis: Those in need of special immigration services because of Hurricane Irma or Hurricane Harvey may contact the the National Customer Service Center or BAL about their immigration needs. Anyone with an appointment at a USCIS office or consulate in areas affected by the storms is urged to double check to make sure offices will be open at the time of their appointment.

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

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