What's New in the World of Immigration?

12/23/2020 - USCIS Rescheduling Interviews due to Travel During COVID

AILA (American Immigration Lawyer's Association) has received numerous reports that upon entering USCIS field offices for interviews, applicants and attorneys are being asked screening questions including whether any party physically present at interview has traveled outside the U.S. in the last 14 days. If the answer is yes, USCIS is rescheduling the interview.

AILA has also received reports that USCIS is checking CBP records and automatically rescheduling interviews if the applicant has traveled outside the U.S. in the last 14 days.

Based on a survey AILA National conducted regarding USCIS field office protocols, we note the following additional COVID procedures being reported at field offices around the country:

- People cannot enter the building more than 15 minutes before scheduled interviews, and 30 minutes before oath ceremonies.

- Bring your own pens.

- Masks are required. Masks with exhaust valves, neck gaiters, or bandanas are not permitted.

- Some field offices or officers limit attendance to 3 people per interview room. If there are additional people in attendance, they may be asked to wait in the waiting room and may be interviewed separately, or they may be placed in another room connected by video. Note that even if the video appears off, the officers can still hear conversations.

- Some field offices are again conducting interviews at InfoPass/InfoMod windows in the waiting rooms, creating privacy concerns.

- USCIS continues to call applicants last minute to notify of rescheduling rather than calling the attorney of record.