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Immigration Help Available to Those Affected by Natural Disasters and Other Unforeseen Circumstances

By Thomas Lee

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USCIS is reminding the public that they offer immigration services that may help people affected by unforeseen circumstances such as natural disasters. Examples of unforeseen circumstances include, but are not limited to, the wildfires in the western United States and the recent building collapse in Surfside, Florida.


The following measures may be available on a case-by-case basis upon request:


- Changing a nonimmigrant status or extending a nonimmigrant stay for an individual currently in the United States. Failure to apply for the extension or change before expiration of your authorized period of admission may be excused if the delay was due to extraordinary circumstances beyond your control;


- Re-parole of individuals previously granted parole by USCIS;


- Expedited processing of advance parole requests;


- Expedited adjudication of requests for off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship;


- Expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications, where appropriate;


- Consideration of fee waiver requests due to an inability to pay;


- Flexibility for those who received a Request for Evidence or a Notice of Intent to Deny but were unable to submit evidence or otherwise respond in a timely manner;


- Flexibility if you were unable to appear for a scheduled interview with USCIS;


- Expedited replacement of lost or damaged immigration or travel documents issued by USCIS, such as a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card), Employment Authorization Documents, and Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94); and


- Rescheduling a biometrics appointment.


Note: When making a request, you will need to explain how the impact of unforeseen circumstances, such as a natural disaster, created a need for the requested relief. If you lost all forms of evidence in an unforeseen circumstance, you will need to include an explanation in your description and a copy of a police report, insurance claim, or other report, if available, to support your request.



Please note that the information provided on this website is for general information purposes only and is not to be construed nor relied upon as legal advice nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship. For a free consultation with Attorney Thomas M. Lee, please contact us.