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  • Katharine Speer Rosenthal

The Latest: U.S. Immigration's Responses to COVID-19


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service

The latest on USCIS’s response to COVID-19 is at uscis.gov/about-us/uscis-response-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19.

The Colorado USCIS offices are open, with additional precautions. You can see the latest on all the USCIS offices at https://www.uscis.gov/es/estatus-oficinas.


USCIS automatically rescheduled all appointments scheduled during the time its offices were closed due to COVID-19 and mailed new appointment notices. This includes ASC fingerprint appointments, asylum appointments, and naturalization oath ceremonies. If you have not received a reschedule notice, you should check on your case by calling 800-375-5283 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern.

USCIS is still receiving and processing applications. But receipt notices for applications filed at a USCIS Lockbox are delayed. Most application receipts are being processed within 30 days of the date of delivery.


USCIS is processing work authorization renewals and some other applications using the fingerprints taken previously.


Deadlines for responses to request for evidence, notices of intent to deny, notices of intent to revoke, and notices of intent to terminate dated between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 are been extended for 60 additional days past the original deadline.


If USCIS denies your application between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021, and it is a decision that can be appealed, then the deadline for your appeal (Form I-290B) is 60 days from the date of the denial.

If your nonimmigrant status expires and you are unable to leave the United States on time because of the COVID-19 closures, you should apply to extend or change your status.


If your ESTA (visa waiver program) authorized stay is about to expire and you are unable to leave the United States on time because of the COVID-19 closures, you should request a 30-day extension, called a "satisfactory departure," from USCIS or CBP. To request it from USCIS, call 800-375-5283. To request it from CBP, contact the CBP office at the airport (or land port of entry) where you entered the United States.


U.S. Embassies & Consulates

On March 20, 2020 the Department of State suspended all routine visa services at all U.S. embassies and consulates. Since then, they have begun to provide services on a limited basis, depending on local conditions.


Visit travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/COVID-19-Country-Specific-Information.html for more details.

Immigration Courts

Aurora, CO: The detained court closed briefly, but it quickly reopened and resumed hearings.

Denver, CO: All non-detained hearings were suspended from March 18, 2020 through September 14, 2020. If your case was affected, you will receive a paper notice rescheduling your hearing.


You can also find the current operational status of each immigration court at justice.gov/eoir/eoir-operational-status-during-coronavirus-pandemic.

Immigration & Customs Enforcement

ICE publishes updates at ice.gov/covid19.


On March 18th, they said they would focus their enforcement efforts on “public safety risks and individuals subject to mandatory detention based on criminal grounds.” It is unclear whether they have followed this, but even if they do, this still describes a lot of people.


ICE does not make arrests at hospitals “except under extraordinary circumstances.” Colorado’s Governor also signed a law making it illegal for ICE to make courthouse arrests.

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