Immigration Help Available to Those Affected by Natural Disasters and Other Unforeseen Circumstances

Posted by Ann Badmus | Sep 21, 2022 | 0 Comments

From USCIS: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reminds the public that we offer immigration services that may help people affected by unforeseen circumstances such as natural disasters in the United States and abroad. Examples of unforeseen circumstances include, but are not limited to, the flooding in Pakistan and Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico.

The following measures may be available on a case-by-case basis upon request:

  • Changing a nonimmigrant status or extending a nonimmigrant stay for an individual currently in the United States. If you fail to apply for the extension or change before expiration of your authorized period of admission, we may excuse that if the delay was due to extraordinary circumstances beyond your control;
  • Reparole of individuals previously granted parole by USCIS;
  • Expedited processing of advance parole requests;
  • Expedited adjudication of requests for off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship;
  • Expedited adjudication of petitions or applications, including employment authorization applications, when appropriate;
  • Consideration of fee waiver requests due to an inability to pay;
  • Flexibility for those who received a Request for Evidence or a Notice of Intent to Deny but were unable to submit evidence or otherwise respond in a timely manner;
  • Flexibility if you were unable to appear for a scheduled interview with USCIS;
  • Expedited replacement of lost or damaged immigration or travel documents issued by USCIS, such as a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card), Employment Authorization Document, or Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record; and
  • Rescheduling a biometric services appointment.

Note: When you request help, please explain how the impact of unforeseen circumstances, such as a natural disaster, created a need for the requested relief. If you lost all forms of evidence in an unforeseen circumstance, include an explanation in your description and a copy of a police report, insurance claim, or other report, if available, to support your request.

Visit our Special Situations page or call us for more information about how we assist individuals affected by extreme situations and unforeseen circumstances. To learn how to request these measures, call us at 800-375-5283. For people with disabilities: (TTY) 800-767-1833 or (VRS) 877-709-5797.

Please update your address with USCIS to ensure you receive all correspondence and benefits from us in a timely manner and avoid possible delays related to your case. To update your address with USCIS, visit our How to Change Your Address page. Please note that changing your address with the U.S. Postal Service will not change your address with USCIS.

Visit our Office Closings page to determine whether an office is open and to learn about rescheduling appointments. In particular, if your appointment was affected by the unforeseen circumstances, you can reschedule your appointment online or by calling the USCIS Contact Center.

All Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, requirements remain in place. Those affected by unforeseen circumstances should visit I-9 Central for more information on how to complete Form I-9 if an employee's documents are lost, stolen, or damaged.

This article is provided as an educational service and is not legal advice. Consult with an attorney for your specific circumstances.  For a comprehensive evaluation of your immigration situation and options, you are invited to call us at 214-494-8033, text us using our chat box, or complete our contact form.

About the Author

Ann Badmus

Principal and Managing Attorney

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