U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced temporary filing flexibilities from June 10 until Aug. 9 for applicants and petitioners affected by lockbox processing delays.

Key Points: 

  • Benefit requests submitted to USCIS lockboxes from Oct. 1, 2020, to April 1, 2021, that were rejected because the filing fee payment expired can be resubmitted with a new filing fee payment.
    • If USCIS agrees that the request was rejected because the filing fee expired due to processing delays, it will accept the new request, use the initial filing date, and waive the $30 check fee.
  • If an applicant, co-applicant, beneficiary or derivative is no longer eligible to file for the benefit requested because they are now older than an age requirement, the applicant or petitioner can submit documentation with the second request to prove the processing delays and rejection caused the ineligibility.
    • If USCIS confirms that the delays caused the person to be ineligible, it will accept the new request and use the filing date of the initial request.
    • This flexibility does not apply to Form N-600K, Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate under Section 322.
  • Applicants and petitioners can contact USCIS to check if previous requests were denied in error.
    • If USCIS agrees, it may allow previously rejected benefit requests to be resubmitted and will use the initial request’s filing date.

Additional Information: The flexibilities apply only to benefit requests submitted to a USICS lockbox. Filing flexibility will not be granted for requests submitted to USCIS service centers or field offices.

BAL Analysis: BAL continues to monitor the processing delays and will provide updates to clients as additional information becomes available.

This alert has been provided by Berry Appleman & Leiden. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

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