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The USCIS Response to the Coronavirus

 Posted on March 04, 2020 in Immigration

IL immigration lawyerAs part of the Department of Homeland Security, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the federal agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States of America. The agency manages the process that allows individuals from other countries to live and work in the United States. Part of USCIS’s mission is to protect the safety of U.S. citizens. USCIS is currently monitoring the effects of the public health emergency related to the 2019 coronavirus outbreak on its operations. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated the virus has sickened more than 60,000 people worldwide. In response to the reports that the virus was first identified in China, the U.S. Department of State instructions, USCIS is temporarily closing its field offices in Beijing and Guangzhou. Appointments in those locations will be rescheduled and USCIS will notify the affected applicants by sending them new appointment notices.

Symptoms of the Virus

According to the CDC, confirmed cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus have ranged from individuals with mild symptoms to patients becoming severely ill and dying. Some of the typical symptoms can mirror the flu, such as the following:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Congested or runny nose
  • Headache
  • Sore throat

It is important to note that if someone who is in the United States and is sick or starts to feel symptoms of being sick, he or she can reschedule his or her appointment with USCIS by following the instructions on the appointment notice. There is no penalty for rescheduling an appointment due to significant illness.

Special Considerations

Upon request, USCIS may provide limited support for those foreign nationals who are affected by natural or extreme situations. For those applying for an extension or change of status because of a special circumstance that prohibited their planned departure, USCIS may take into consideration how the unique situation hindered a timely departure. Applicants are advised to review the Special Situations webpage on the USCIS website for more information.

Contact an Illinois Immigration Attorney

The recent outbreak of the coronavirus has garnered national attention. In addition to China, cases have been identified in other international locations, including the United States. Ongoing investigations hope to learn more and prevent further spread of the virus. The illness is affecting travel throughout the United States and the world. At the Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices, our dedicated Illinois immigration attorneys understand the severity of this health epidemic and how it may impact your immigration case or bringing your loved one to the United States. Call us today at 630-932-9100 to schedule a free consultation.

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