Updated: USCIS Offers Leniency in Responding To Notices – How Will This Affect Your Petition

Update: Similar to the 60-day extension offered for Requests for Evidence and Notices of Intent to Deny, USCIS announced that it would give certain petitioners the additional 60-days to respond to other categories of notices as well. This flexibility is offered until September 30, 2021. These apply to notices received between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.

These 60 days is in addition to the date mentioned in the notice. USCIS had announced a closure of all its in-person service at its field offices and Application Service Centers due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Subsequent to this, it is also offering flexibility in responding to certain notices sent out by USCIS.

Which Notices Have the 60-Day Grace Period to Respond

  • Requests for Evidence (RFE);
  • Notices of Intent to Deny (NOID);
  • Notices of Intent to Revoke (NOIR);
  • Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14);
  • Notices of Intent to Rescind and Notices of Intent to Terminate regional investment centers; and
  • Filing date requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.
  • Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion
  • Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings

How should you respond effectively to an RFE?

Here’s How

What Does This 60-Day Extension Mean?

For applicants and petitioners who have received the above notices between March 1 and June 30, 2021, USCIS will accept their responses within 60 calendar days after the response due date set in the request or notice before taking action.

The new response deadline will be automatically calculated by adding 60 calendar days to the date mentioned in the USCIS notice. For example, if USCIS notice asks for a response by August 30, 2020, you have until October 30, 2020 to respond. 

Who Is Impacted by This 60-Day Extension?

H1-B, L1-A, L1-B, H4 EAD visa holders, Family-based Green Card petitionersRFE
Visa petitions, work permits, adjustment of status applicantsNOID
Immigrant and non-immigrant visa petitionersNOIR
Petitioners Applying for US Naturalizations
Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14)
EB-5 applicants and H4 EAD workersNotices of Intent to Rescind and Notices of Intent to Terminate regional investment centers
Applicants of Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker and F1, student visa holdersFiling date requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion

Important to Know

While USCIS continues to offer flexibility, and help minimize the immigration consequences for those seeking immigration benefits during the pandemic, it is important that all petitioners consult their legal immigration counsel when responding to these notices. 

  • Inspite of the flexibility offered, all petitioners and their legal representatives should be prompt in preparing and responding to these notices. The sooner you respond the faster you get an adjudication.
  • Some deadlines might supersede the ones offered by USCIS in their latest announcement. Every respondent should have a legal expert review the notice for fine print to see the exact deadline applicable to each notice.
  • In certain circumstances, I-94s and certain work visas could expire before the extended deadlines to respond. It is important to know how to react in these cases.

Is your visitor visa expiring and you are unable to leave the country?

Here’s a step-by-step guide to extend your US Visa

  • The 60-day grace period should not be exploited by applicants. This is to take into consideration some inabilities posed by restrictions of the Coronavirus pandemic. Be prepared to explain the delay in responding if you have to.

The USCIS offices restarted in-person services on June 4, 2020. Stay tuned to this space to see what other changes USCIS will announce.

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