ADMINISTRATION EXPANDS ‘HOLD’ ON GREEN CARD TO REQUESTS FROM WITHIN THE U.S.
President Trump had announced on April 21, 2020 that he would “temporarily suspend immigration” into the United States, suggesting that foreigners could bring the virus into the country and displace U.S. workers distressed from the pandemic-induced economic crisis. The Administration proceeded to suspend the approval of green card requests to immigrants abroad seeking U.S. residency.
This week the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that it would apply a “general hold” on permanent residency applications filed from immigrants within the United States as well. The USCIS said the hold on processing green card applications from current U.S. residents stems from the temporary suspension of in-person services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency said its current priority was to resume naturalization ceremonies, which have also been interrupted because of the pandemic.
Please note, exemptions to the hold include applications for medical providers. The USCIS also allows immigration officers to submit applications that concern an “emergent or sensitive matter” outside these exemptions to their supervisors for consideration.