President Trump announced a freeze on immigration. How does this affect my green card application?
If your green card application is pending while you are in the U.S. (Adjustment of Status), the proclamation does not affect your case. USCIS is continuing to process green card cases. The proclamation only affects incoming immigration from abroad.
What are the specifics of the new rules?
The proclamation suspends entry
of any foreign national wanting to enter the U.S. as an immigrant who:
- Was outside the U.S. on April 23, 2020;
- Did not have a valid immigrant visa on April 23, 2020; and
- Did not have a valid official travel document (for example, an advance parole document, transportation letter or boarding foil) on April 23, 2020, or later date that allows travel to the United States to seek entry or admission.
There are many exceptions, such as for lawful permanent residents, spouses or minor children of U.S. citizens, health care professional visa applicants, investors and asylum seekers.
How long will the freeze last? What happens once it is lifted?
The freeze lasts for 60 days from April 23, 2020; however, it may be continued. Within 50 days from the April 23, 2020, government leaders will recommend to President Trump whether he should continue or modify the proclamation.
Am I in danger of being deported if I am affected by the freeze?
No, as the freeze only affects inbound immigration.
What if I am affected by travel restrictions due to COVID-19?
If your return outbound flight has been canceled, or you are not able to return to your home country before your authorized stay expires, you can file an application for extension of stay (EOS) or change in status (COS) to avoid accruing unlawful presence. Nonimmigrants generally do not accrue unlawful presence while the EOS/COS application is pending.
If you are in the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), you cannot apply for EOS/COS. However, USCIS may grant a period of “satisfactory departure” for up to 30 days or an extension for an additional 30 days. To request satisfactory departure from USCIS, please call the USCIS Contact Center or Customs and Border Protection at the airport (port of entry) or local office.
My green card interview, naturalization interview, or biometrics appointment was cancelled -- what do I do now?
You do not need to do anything. USCIS will mail you a new interview notice or biometrics appointment information when it reopens. USCIS plans to reopen on June 4, 2020.
My relative is applying for an immigrant visa from abroad -- what do they do now?
All immigrant visa appointments have been canceled until further notice. Your relative should check the country-specific U.S. embassy website for any updates.
I am an undocumented immigrant. Am I eligible to receive a stimulus check? Is there any danger in coming forward to claim one?
Currently, only U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents and qualifying resident aliens are eligible to receive stimulus checks. Qualifying resident aliens can include DACA and TPS recipients, H1-B, H-4, TN, O-1, and E-2 visa holders with social security numbers.
I am not a U.S. citizen. How will unemployment benefits or the stimulus check affect me under the Public Charge rule?
Unemployment benefits are not considered by USCIS for purposes of making public charge inadmissibility determination, as unemployment insurance is considered by USCIS as an “earned” benefit.
The stimulus check is an automatic advanced tax credit disbursed by the Treasury Department. While Medicaid and cash assistance for income maintenance may be considered as public benefits, USCIS indicates in that tax credits are not considered public benefits in a public charge inadmissibility determination (USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 8, Part G, Chapter 10).