USCIS Announces Temporary Immigration Relief for Those Affected by Typhoon Soudelor

by Raymond G. Lahoud, Esquire

On August 2, 2015, Typhoon Soudelor caused extensive damage in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). USCIS announced that those affected by Typhoon Soudelor may be eligible for certain U.S. immigration benefits or relief

Eligible individuals may request or apply for temporary relief measures, including:

  • A change or extension of nonimmigrant status for an individual currently in the United States, even when the request is filed after the authorized period of admission has expired;
  • Extension or re-parole of individuals previously granted parole by USCIS;
  • Expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications; and
  • Assistance to lawful permanent residents (LPR) stranded overseas without immigration or travel documents, such as a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card). USCIS and the Department of State will coordinate on these matters when LPRs are stranded in a place that does not have a local USCIS office.

USCIS may also exercise its discretion to allow for filing delays resulting from the typhoon. This may include, for example:

  • Assistance to those who have not appeared for an interview or submitted required forms of evidence. You may show how the typhoon prevented you from appearing or submitting documents as required; or
  • Assistance to those who have not been able to respond to a request for evidence (RFE) or notice of intent to deny (NOID). USCIS will extend the deadline for individuals to respond to RFEs or NOIDs by 30 days. This will apply to all RFEs and NOIDs with a deadline of August 2 through September 2, 2015. During this time, USCIS will not issue denials based on abandonment of an application or petition in the CNMI.

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