At the beginning of August, Typhoon Soudelor caused extensive damage in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)! President Obama has declared CNMI a federal disaster area; CNMI is a U.S. Commonwealth. USCIS has released a News Alert highlighting some of the available immigration relief measures that immigration customers may have available to them.
Immigration relief measures that may be available upon request include:
• A change or extension of nonimmigrant status for an individual currently in the United States, even when the request is filed after the authorized period of admission has expired;
• Extension or re-parole of individuals previously granted parole by USCIS;
• Expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications; and • Assistance to lawful permanent residents (LPR) stranded overseas without immigration or travel documents, such as a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card). USCIS and the Department of State will coordinate on these matters when LPRs are stranded in a place that does not have a local USCIS office.
USCIS may also exercise its discretion to allow for filing delays resulting from the typhoon. This may include:
• Assistance to those who have not appeared for an interview or submitted required forms of evidence. You may show how the typhoon prevented you from appearing or submitting documents as required; or • Assistance to those who have not been able to respond to a request for evidence (RFE) or notice of intent to deny (NOID). USCIS will extend the deadline for individuals to respond to RFEs or NOIDs by 30 days. This will apply to all RFEs and NOIDs with a deadline of August 2 through September 2, 2015. During this time, USCIS will not issue denials based on abandonment of an application or petition in the CNMI.
Note: To learn more about how USCIS can provide assistance to immigrants living in country’s with Special Situations, please visit the link http://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/special-situations or call the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 (TDD for the hearing impaired: 1-800-767-1833).
Source of Information:
USCIS.gov, 8/7/15, News Alert:
Temporary Immigration Relief Measures Available for Individuals Affected by Typhoon Soudelor
USCIS.gov, 5/1/15, Web Page:
Pacific Daily News, 8/6/15, News Article:
Obama declares CNMI federal disaster area