Recently, the United States Customs and Immigration (USCIS) announced, persons affected by Hurricane Matthew, or other unforeseen circumstances, who have certain immigration actions in process and may require relief for humanitarian reasons, are eligible to apply. The relief consideration is part of the ongoing humanitarian efforts of the USCIS to address protection for individuals in need of shelter, or aid from disasters, oppression, emergency medical issues and other urgent circumstances.
USCIS’s humanitarian efforts include consideration for relief to persons who may be affected in the following categories:
- Refugees and Asylum
- Battered spouse, child or parent
- Victims of human trafficking and other crimes
- Persons facing removal from the United Sates
- Childhood Arrivals may request deferred action. For the guidelines and information, go to the following website of the USCIS: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
- Juveniles who are in the United States without legal immigration status and may require humanitarian protection because of abuse, abandonment, or neglect.
- Females affected by Mutilation or Cutting
- Persons in the United States or Overseas who may be affected by natural disasters.
The humanitarian efforts of the USCIS, as a result of Hurricane Mathew, reflect the belief that a natural disaster can affect a person’s USCIS application, petition or immigration status. Consideration is available on a case-by-case basis if a person is affected by the following:
- Persons who have received a Request for Evidence or a Notice of Intent to Deny but were unable to appear for an interview, submit evidence or respond promptly;
- Persons who require a replacement of lost or damaged immigration or travel documents issued by USCIS, such as a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card), due to no fault of their own.
- Persons who were not able to attend a biometrics appointment.
- Persons who have fallen out of status, through no fault of their own, may request an extension and changes of status.
- Persons facing financial hardship may request a waiver of USCIS fees by using the Form I-912
- Students who may need to work off-campus due to Hurricane Matthew impacting their ability to support themselves. To apply for consideration, a student must receive a recommendation for employment from their Designated School Official (DSO) and must file the Form I-765.
- Persons who may have previously been paroled by the USCIS and require re-parole
- Persons facing parole proceedings may request expedited processing of advance parole
- Persons may request expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications
The USCIS advises, a person seeking relief due to the impacts of Hurricane Matthew specifically, must clearly define how they have been affected and the need for the requested relief.
To learn more about how USCIS provides assistance to customers affected by unforeseen circumstances, such as Hurricane Matthew, the personnel at the National Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283 (TDD for the deaf and hard of hearing: 800-767-1833) are available to assist. As well, additional information is available at the USCIS Website.