U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced a flexible measure that will allow the agency to process certain applications to extend employment authorization documents (EADs) during the COVID-19 related closures of USCIS Application Support Centers (ASCs).

Key points:

  • USCIS will use previously submitted biometrics to process EAD extension applications.
  • Applicants who had a biometrics appointment scheduled at an Application Support Center on or after March 18 will have their applications processed using their previously submitted biometrics.
  • Applicants who have filed a valid Form I-765 extension application for employment authorization will also have their applications processed using their previously submitted biometrics.
  • This policy will remain in effect until ASCs are open for appointments to the public. The agency is scheduled to reopen ASCs on April 7, unless the closures are extended.

BAL Analysis: The measure gives employees the ability to have their employment authorization documents extended without sitting for a new biometrics appointment. However, it does not apply to new applicants for EADs who have not previously submitted their biometrics. Companies are reminded that USCIS Service Centers, where immigration petitions and applications are adjudicated, remain operational, but they should expect ongoing delays in processing. Updated information about USCIS’s response to COVID-19 can be found on the USCIS website.

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

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