The USCIS is offering flexibility to certain applicants and petitioners impacted by delays at a USCIS lockbox.
On June 10, 2021, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced [link] that it began offering filing flexibility for certain applicants and petitioners impacted by delays at a USCIS lockbox.
The temporary flexibilities will be in effect from June 10, 2021, through August 9, 2021. They apply only to benefit requests submitted to a USCIS lockbox. They do not apply to benefit requests submitted to a USCIS service center or field office.
Below, we quote from the USCIS news release regarding the temporary flexibilities:
- If you submitted a benefit request to a USCIS lockbox between Oct. 1, 2020, and April 1, 2021, and that request was rejected during that timeframe solely due to a filing fee payment that expired while the benefit request was awaiting processing, you may resubmit the request with a new fee payment. If USCIS concurs that it has rejected the benefit request because of the delay, USCIS will deem the request to have been received on the initial filing date it was first received and waive the $30 dishonored check fee.
- USCIS will allow applicants and petitioners to submit documentation with a benefit request resubmission demonstrating that because of the time that elapsed between when a benefit request was originally submitted to a USCIS lockbox and when USCIS rejected it, an applicant, co-applicant, beneficiary or derivative has reached an age that makes them no longer eligible to file for the benefit requested. If USCIS agrees that the delayed rejection caused the person to be ineligible due to age, USCIS will accept the request and deem it to have been received on the date the initial benefit request was received. This flexibility does not apply to Form N-600K, Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322.
The flexibilities have benefits in two cases. The first case involves situations wherein the petitioner's or applicant's filing fee payment expired due to USCIS processing delays. The second case involves situations wherein a benefit request was denied due to the amount of time that elapsed between the petitioner's or beneficiary's submitting the request and its processing. The latter flexibility does not apply to the Form N-600K, Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322.
The USCIS news release advises applicants and beneficiaries who believe that they may be eligible to benefit from the flexibilities to contact the agency in order “to verify previously filed benefit requests have not been rejected in error.”
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