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09/23/2020

This practice alert provides a brief summary of temporary changes U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has made in response to COVID-19. Changes include plans for reopening USCIS facilities after suspending all in-person services, including interviews and biometrics appointments, from March 18 to June 3, 2020; automatic extensions for Requests for Evidence (RFEs), Notices of Intent to Deny (NOIDs), and other responses; and an alert meant to combat the new public charge rule's negative effect on immigrants getting testing, treatment, and care for COVID-19 due to fears about how it might affect their case. 

Latest updates in this version: 

Starting September 23, 2020, asylum applicants must use the government-contracted telephonic interpreter service if they need an interpreter at their asylum interview, unless they require a language not available through the service.

On September 22, 2020, USCIS provided instructions for how it plans to resume implementation of the new public charge rule nationwide after the COVID-related injunction was stayed on September 11, including applying the new rule to pending cases filed in the last couple months.

This document will be updated as further changes occur.