The United States on Friday allowed a grace period of 60 days to those who have an H-1B visa and to green card applicants, who have been asked to submit various documents. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services said that relaxations have been made in view of the coronavirus pandemic – which has killed over 2.3 lakh people globally.
The grace period of 60 days will be applicable to requests for evidence, along with notices of intent to deny, rescind and notices on termination of regional investment centers. People have also been given the additional 60 days to file date requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, before any action is taken against them.
This flexibility applies to the above documents if the issuance date listed on the request, notice or decision is between March 1 and July 1, inclusive, the US agency said.
“USCIS will consider a response to the above requests and notices received within 60 calendar days after the response due date set in the request or notice before taking action,” the immigration body said. The agency further added that several measures are being adopted to protect the workforce and community in the US and to minimise the “immigration consequences for those seeking immigration benefits during this time”.
This came days after United States President Donald Trump signed an executive order temporarily suspending immigration into the country amid the coronavirus pandemic. The order, seen as an election-year move, is set to last for 60 days and then will be reviewed and possibly extended. However, it is also likely to face legal challenges.
Trump had won the US presidential elections in 2016 after promising to crack down on immigration and has made the matter a central theme to his presidency. But many of his major moves trying to curb immigration have been challenged in court.
The developments come at a time when global economies are reeling under the crisis brought on due to the coronavirus’ outbreak. In the US, over 22 million people applied for unemployment benefits in the last month.
Globally, the coronavirus has infected 33.43 lakh people and killed at least 2.38 lakh people, according to the Johns Hopkins tracker. The United States has the most confirmed cases and deaths in the world with at least 11,03,781 people infected and more than 65,068 deaths.