In its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, USCIS is further extending and revising its deadline extension policy for responses to various agency actions to March 26, 2022. The accommodations, which were initially announced in March 2020 as a means of minimizing negative consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, were originally set to end in September 2020 and have been extended several times. In this extension, the agency is also revising the policy slightly.
A closer look
Under the extended policy, a 60- day extension accommodation will continue to be available to stakeholders responding to or filing the following:
- Requests for Evidence (RFE),
- Notices of Intent to Deny (NOID),
- Notices of Intent to Revoke or Rescind (NOIR),
- Notices of Intent to Terminate EB-5 Regional Investment Centers (NOIT),
- Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14), and
- Motions to Reopen an N-400 Pursuant to 8 CFR 335.5, Receipt of Derogatory Information After Grant
Applicants and petitioners who receive(d) any of the above notices or decisions dated between March 1, 2020 and March 26, 2022 (inclusive), will receive an additional 60 calendar days beyond the original response deadline in order to file a response with USCIS. This is a continuation of a USCIS accommodation that has been in place since March 2020.
However, USCIS has revised its accommodation for the following types of filings:
- Form I-290B appeals or motions to reopen an adverse USCIS decision, and
- Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization (Under INA Section 336).
In these cases, for adverse USCIS decisions dated between November 1, 2021 and March 26, 2022 (inclusive), USCIS will grant 90 calendar days from the date of the decision (as opposed to 60 days under the prior accommodation, and 30 days under standard pre-COVID rules) to file the Form I-290B appeal or motion or a Form N-336 hearing request.
What this means for employers and foreign nationals
The extended deadlines are expected to continue to alleviate the pressure on employers and foreign nationals to respond to inquiries or file appeals with USCIS while U.S. businesses remain temporarily disrupted and U.S. workforces continue to work remotely.
As a reminder, this accommodation does not affect applications for extensions of stay or employment authorization. These applications must continue to be timely filed.