The pandemic has managed to affect nearly every facet of life, including the immigration process. If you are someone who is either on the brink of beginning an immigration process or in the midst of it, it is important to understand some of the ways you might be impacted so that you can ensure you are prepared.
Close Monitoring Is Essential
For any individual who is dealing with an immigration issue during the pandemic, close monitoring of your case is essential. For example, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services agency has made several changes to their hearing schedule.
Some hearings have been postponed for a set period, but some hearings are being held in a virtual format. If you assume that your hearing has been canceled, and you miss the virtual meeting, it can count against you. Do yourself a favor and monitor your case and ask questions. Keep in mind that if you have an attorney, they can keep track of this information for you.
Deadlines Remain in Place
If you have currently initiated an immigration application on your behalf or as a sponsor for someone else, you should assume that all paperwork deadlines remain in place. While certain hearing processes have been adjusted, application processing may still occur as scheduled.
For this reason, if you have a visa or another document that you need to submit updated information for, you should assume that these deadlines remain in effect. If you miss these deadlines, your status could be changed or any uncompleted application processes you have already begun could be denied.
Leave Space for Delays
The pandemic has probably had the greatest impact on those individuals who have plans to sponsor a spouse, family member, or someone else on a visa. Given the virus, there have been significant adjustments on the timeline for which the visa process can be executed and, as a result, when your loved one can come to the country.
If you are in this scenario, consider reaching out to an attorney. An attorney can research any specific travel or processing restrictions you might face and work to get your application processed and your loved one in the United States as quickly as possible.
It does not matter what stage of the process you are in; it is important that you remain informed and that you have someone on your side representing your best interest. Speak with an immigration attorney if you need assistance.