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USCIS Extends COVID-19 Flexibilities for RFE Responses

USCIS has once again extended the COVID-19 flexibilities it announced on March 30, 2020 to assist applicants, petitioners, and requestors in responding to certain agency requests, such as:

  • Requests for Evidence;
  • Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14);
  • Notices of Intent to Deny;
  • Notices of Intent to Revoke;
  • Notices of Intent to Rescind;
  • Notices of Intent to Terminate regional centers;
  • Notices of Intent to Withdraw Temporary Protected Status; and
  • Motions to Reopen an N-400 Pursuant to 8 CFR 335.5, Receipt of Derogatory Information After Grant.

For the above listed requests and notices issued between March 1, 2020 and October 23, 2022, USCIS will consider the response timely if received within 60 days of the original response date. For example, if an RFE is issued on October 23, 2022 with a due date of January 21, 2023, the response will receive the benefit of the extra 60 days, making the responses official deadline March 22, 2023.

Additionally, USCIS will consider a Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or motion, or a Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings (under Section 336 of the INA), if the form was filed up to 90 calendar days from the issuance of a decision USCIS made, and USCIS made that decision between November 1, 2021 and October 23, 2022.

USCIS has been continuously evaluating the flexibilities instituted during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to determine if any should be extended permanently. As a result, USCIS has decided that the reproduced signature flexibility announced in March 2020 will become permanent policy on July 25, 2022.

By: Ashley Thomas

Ashley Thomas is an Senior Associate Attorney at Reddy & Neumann, P.C. who focuses on employment-based non-immigrant visas. Ashley’s practice covers all phases of the visa process including filing petitions, responding to Requests for Evidence (RFE), and drafting motions and appeals. She has completed over 200 RFE’s to date in response to H-1B, L-1, I-140, and OPT petitions.