How Has USCIS Visitor Policy Changed Due to COVID-19?

In order to protect the public and those who work at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services from exposure to the coronavirus (COVID-19), certain policies are being put into place in all USCIS offices until further notice. 

One of the most important policies to note is that all applicants, petitioners, and visitors who are over the age of two years old are required to wear a face covering in the offices. Individuals may be directed to remove their face covering briefly in order to confirm their identity or take a photograph. All USCIS offices have the right to deny entry to anyone who is not wearing a face covering. 

While face coverings are required, they are not a replacement for social distancing. Follow signs or instructions in USCIS offices to maintain social distancing while in these spaces. To limit the number of people in waiting rooms, applicants can only be accompanied by the following:

  • An attorney
  • Interpreters (sometimes need to be available by the phone)
  • A parent, legal guardian, or trusted adult if the applicant is a minor
  • Immediate family members who are listed as dependents on the application or interview notice
  • An individual assisting a disabled person

Currently, USCIS cannot allow guests to attend naturalization ceremonies. They will be limited to the candidates who will be naturalized and those providing assistance to disabled individuals. During these ceremonies, face coverings are required even if it is held outside. 

Most importantly, anyone who is feeling sick should not come to a USCIS office. An appointment notice will include instructions on how to reschedule the appointment without penalty for when you are healthy. Individuals will not be allowed to enter a USCIS office if:

  • They are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19
  • They had close contact with a person known or suspected to have COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • They have been instructed by a healthcare provider or public health authority to isolate or self-quarantine within the last 14 days
  • They refuse to wear a face covering or mask

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The Law Offices of Cheryl R. David practices immigration law throughout NYC. Immigration is a sensitive issue, which is why you should consider a compassionate, experienced, and aggressive immigration attorney who will guide you every step of the way. If you have questions about your particular matters regarding immigration please do not hesitate to contact our office to discuss your circumstances and options.