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AILA Doc. No. 21061633 | Dated June 16, 2021
USCIS recently announced filing flexibilities providing relief to certain stakeholders impacted by delayed rejections at a USCIS lockbox. These filing flexibilities are available for 60 days from June 10th to August 9th, and only apply to applications and petitions submitted to a USCIS lockbox and not to a field office or a service center.
By way of background, the USCIS lockboxes are responsible for taking a wide variety of immigration applications and petitions. Late last year, the lockboxes began experiencing a significant delay in rejecting such applications on petitions. As a result, stakeholders began experiencing delayed rejections of up to three months and in some cases even longer, where in the past it had taken the agency just a few short weeks.
Such lengthy delays have resulted in a number of stakeholders no longer being eligible for their immigration benefit requests, nor the ability to file as a result. As a result of these delayed rejections, AILA sent a letter to USCIS in April expressing concerns and urging equitable relief for all stakeholders impacted by these delayed rejections.
Following AILA’s letter to USCIS, the agency recently announced flexibilities surrounding two specific scenarios. The first involves expired filing fees. USCIS has announced that it will accept back certain applications and petitions that were rejected solely on the basis that the filing fee expired due to delays in USCIS taking in that application.
The second scenario involves age-out situations, and in this scenario, USCIS will accept back applications that were rejected. But due to the lengthy rejection period, the individual aged out and is no longer eligible for the immigration benefit requested.
To learn more about these filing flexibilities, please visit AILA’s website. For AILA members who have clients impacted by these delayed rejections, you should check out AILA’s practice pointer entitled Your Client's Case Has Been Rejected: Now What?
This practice pointer addresses options when simply filing is not possible, reviews strategies, and answers questions that arise with rejections.
Cite as AILA Doc. No. 21061633.
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