COVID-19 Update Dallas: USCIS Reopening with limits

USCIS Has Reopened On a Limited Basis

Starting June 4, USCIS has reopened its field offices. They will only receive people for non-emergency face-to-face services. If you have filed an application with USCIS that requires that you take a fingerprint at an Application Support Center, those offices are still closed for now. No information has been given for when those would begin reopening.

USCIS has implemented important restrictions in an effort to minimize the risk to people who will be coming to their offices. Specifically, the public is excluded from their offices if they:

Have had any symptoms of COVID-19, including cough, fever or difficulty breathing
Have been in close contact with anyone know or suspected to have COVID-19 in the past 14 days
Have been individually directed to self-quarantine or self-isolate by a health care provider or public health official within the last 14 days

Other restrictions have been put in place as well. For example, no one may enter the office for a scheduled appointment more than 15 minutes prior to the scheduled time. An exception to this would be oath ceremony appointment for naturalization, which will allow entry up to 30 minutes prior to the scheduled time.

They will provide hand sanitizer at entry points. Face coverings are required, covering both mouth and nose. They may have some available for use if the visitor does not bring his or her own, or they may reschedule the interview. I would not trust USCIS to have masks available – please bring your own.

USCIS will install very clear directives about social distancing guidelines and other protection measures. You must pay close attention to these instructions at all times. Additionally, they may require health screening questions before entering the facility.

Rather than sharing pens between the officer and the visitor, USCIS may instruct that visitors bring blue and/or black ink pens to an interview. Other instructions may be included in the interview scheduling notice from USCIS.

It has been strange having the government shut down these past 3 months. Now that they are reopening, hopefully we will see progress made on the many cases pending with USCIS.