USCIS extends immigration related deadlines:

On March 30, 2020, in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced an extension of the flexibility it announced to assist applicants and petitioners who are responding to the following types of requests, with deadlines:

  • Requests for Evidence;
  • Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14);
  • Notices of Intent to Deny;
  • Notices of Intent to Revoke;
  • Notices of Intent to Rescind and Notices of Intent to Terminate regional investment centers; and
  • filing date requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.

 Notice/Request/Decision Issuance Date

This flexibility applies to the documents listed above if the issuance date listed on the request, notice, or decision is between March 1 and July 1, 2020, inclusive.

Response Due Date

USCIS will consider a response to a request or notice listed above received within 60 calendar days after the response due date set in the request or notice before taking action.  USCIS will also consider a Form I-290B received up to 60 calendar days from the date of the decision before it takes any action.

For More Information

USCIS will provide further updates as the situation develops and will continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance.  You may visit uscis.gov/coronavirus for the latest facts and other USCIS updates.

Temporary flexibility for List B documents for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification and in E-Verify:

On May 1, 2020, DHS issued a temporary policy regarding expired List B identity documents used to complete Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification in light of stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19 creating challenges renewing a state driver’s license, a state ID card, or other Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, List B identity documents.

Beginning on May 1, identity documents found in List B set to expire on or after March 1, 2020, and not otherwise extended by the issuing authority, may be treated the same as if the employee presented a valid receipt for an acceptable document for Form I-9 purposes.

When an employee provides an acceptable expired List B document that has not been extended by the issuing authority you should:

  • Record the document information in Section 2 under List B, as applicable; and,
  • Enter the word “COVID-19” in the Additional Information Field.

Within 90 days after DHS’ termination of this temporary policy, the employee will be required to present a valid unexpired document to replace the expired document presented when they were initially hired.

Note:  It is best if the employee can present the replacement of the actual document that was expired, but if necessary, the employee may choose to present a different List A or List B document or documents and record the new document information in the Additional Information Field. 

When the employee later presents an unexpired document, you should:

  • In the Section 2 Additional Information field:
    • Record the number and other required document information from the actual document presented;
    • Initial and date the change.

Procedure for List B Documents extended by an Issuing Authority

If the employee’s List B identity document expired on or after March 1, 2020, and the issuing authority has extended the document expiration date due to COVID-19, the document is acceptable as a List B document for Form I-9 (not as a receipt) during the extension timeframe specified by the issuing authority.

When your employee provides an acceptable expired List B document that has been extended by the issuing authority you should:

  • Enter the document’s expiration date in Section 2; and,
  • Enter “COVID-19 EXT” in the Additional Information Field

Employers may also attach a copy of a webpage or other notice indicating that the issuing authority has extended the documents.  Employers can confirm that their state has auto-extended the expiration date of state IDs and driver’s licenses by checking the state Motor Vehicle Administration or Department of Motor Vehicles’ website.

Note:  For extended documents, the employee is not required to present a valid unexpired List B document later. 

E-Verify participating employers should use the employee’s expired List B document number from Section 2 of the Form I-9 to create an E-Verify case as usual within three days of the date of hire.

DHS continues to monitor the ongoing COVID-19 national emergency and will provide updated guidance as needed.

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Alka Bahal is a Partner and the Co-Chair of the Immigration Practice of Fox Rothschild LLP, specializing in corporate immigration law and compliance.  Alka is situated in Fox Rothschild’s Morristown, New Jersey office though she practices throughout the United States and at Consulates worldwide.  You can reach Alka at (973) 994-7800, or abahal@foxrothschild.com.