COVID-19 and U.S. Immigration

While our lives are impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) and how business is conducted around the world, immigrants and U.S. employers need to know how processes and procedures are impacted for them, as well. The attorneys at the Murthy Law Firm are staying on top of the situation. You will find everything posted on our website that is relevant to this topic indexed from this page, and available from the red notification bar at the top of our home page.

See also, Murthy Law Firm Monitoring COVID-19 Situation (UPDATED 30.Mar.2020), for information on our staff, our firm, and how our firm continues to serve our clients.

NewsBriefs & NewsFlashes

NewsFlash! ICE Reverses Course, Will Allow Students to Take All Classes Online
14 Jul 2020

Possible Mass-Furloughs at USCIS Could Severely Impact Services
13 Jul 2020

NewsFlash! Consulates May Being Phased Resumption of Visa Services, Effective July 15th
13 Jul 2020

NewsFlash! Judge to Decide on July 15th Whether to Block Rule Requiring F-1 Students to Attend In-Person Classes
10 Jul 2020

NewsFlash! Harvard and MIT Sue ICE to Block Rule Requiring F-1 Students Attend In-Person Classes
08 Jul 2020

SEVIS to End Temporary Rule that Allowed F-1 and M-1 Students to Take All Classes Online
07 Jul 2020

NewsFlash! USCIS Again Extends Flexibility for Responding to USCIS Requests
01 Jul 2020

NewsFlash! Trump Signing Executive Order Restricting Work Visas, Including H1B and L
22 Jun 2020

Extended Travel by a Permanent Resident (2 of 2)
18 Jun 2020

J-1 Waiver Requirements Further Relaxed During Pandemic
15 Jun 2020

Extended Travel by a Permanent Resident (1 of 2)
11 Jun 2020

June 2020 Visa Bulletin Check-In
05 Jun 2020

USCIS Provides Flexibility During Pandemic to Physicians Seeking Conrad 30 Waivers
28 May 2020

NewsFlash! USCIS Plans to Resume In-Person Services on 04.Jun.2020
27 May 2020

Requesting Parole for Humanitarian Reasons to Enter the U.S.
18 May 2020

Updated Visa Bulletin Information and Predictions
13 May 2020

Bipartisan Bill Proposed to Grant Green Cards to Doctors and Nurses
11 May 2020

Murthy Lawsuit Results in H1B Approval on Availability of Work and Right to Control
06 May 2020

DHS Offers Employers Ability to Review Employee I-9 Documents Remotely During Pandemic
04 May 2020

NewsFlash! USCIS Extends Flexibility for Responding to USCIS Requests
01 May 2020

MurthyAudio: Immigration, Options, Presidential Proclamation and Covid-19
30 Apr 2020

I-140 EAD Based on Compelling Circumstances
30 Apr 2020

Murthy Shares AILA Flyer on President’s Proclamation
24 Apr 2020

NewsFlash! USCIS In-Person Services Suspended Until at Least 03.Jun.2020
24 Apr 2020

NewsFlash! President Signs Executive Order Pausing Issuance of Most Immigrant Visas at Consulates
22 Apr 2020

NewsFlash! Executive Order Pausing Issuance of Green Cards Possibly Delayed
22 Apr 2020

NewsFlash! Trump to Suspend Issuance of Green Cards for 60 Days
21 Apr 2020

Trump’s Tweet to Suspend U.S. Immigration
21 Apr 2020

NewsFlash! Trump Claims He Will Temporarily Suspend Immigration
updated 21 Apr 2020

NewsFlash! USCIS Waiving In-Person Interview Requirements for Some Cases
21 Apr 2020

B-2 Option Following Loss of H1B Job Due to COVID-19 Crisis
20 Apr 2020

NewsFlash! Delays in Issuing Receipts for Cap-Subject H1B Petitions
13 Apr 2020

NewsFlash! Vermont Service Center Reopens Following Brief Closure for Cleaning
13 Apr 2020

NewsFlash! Vermont Service Center Reportedly Closed Temporarily
10 Apr 2020

MurthyAudio: Tips and Strategies for Safely Filing H1B Cap Cases During COVID-19
09 Apr 2020

NewsFlash! Government Report Confirms Many Nonimmigrants Eligible for Stimulus Payment
08 Apr 2020

DOS Suspends Issuance of Most U.S. Passports
08 Apr 2020

NewsFlash! AILA Sues DHS, Demands Extension of All Deadlines
03 Apr 2020

DHS Temporarily Halts Issuance of Additional H2B Visa Numbers
03 Apr 2020

NVC Unable to Respond to General Inquiries During COVID-19 Outbreak
03 Apr 2020

NewsFlash! USCIS In-Person Services Suspended Until at Least 03.May.2020
01 Apr 2020

DOL Issuing LCs via eMail During COVID-19 Crisis
01 Apr 2020

USCIS to Reuse Previously Submitted Biometrics for Form I-765
30 Mar 2020

NewsFlash! Expanded Flexibility for Responding to USCIS Requests
30 Mar 2020

SEVP Provides Flexibility to Schools in Light of COVID-19 Epidemic
30 Mar 2020

NewsFlash! USCIS Providing Flexibility in Responding to RFEs, NOIDs
27 Mar 2020

MurthyAudio: Coronavirus – Impacts on U.S. Immigration
26 Mar 2020

NewsFlash! USCIS Temporarily Accepting Forms with Photocopied Signatures
20 Mar 2020

NewsFlash! USCIS Temporarily Suspends Premium Processing for All I-129s and I-140s
20 Mar 2020

NewsFlash! U.S./Mexican Border Closed for Nonessential Travel
20 Mar 2020

Most U.S. Consulates Suspend Routine Visa Service
19 Mar 2020

NewsFlash! U.S./Canada Border Closed for Nonessential Travel
18 Mar 2020

NewsFlash! USCIS Closing Offices to Public Until at Least 01.Apr.20
18 Mar 2020

NewsFlash! All Visa Appointments at U.S. Consulates in India Canceled
13 Mar 2020

Murthy Law Firm Monitoring COVID-19 Situation
12 Mar 2020

U.S. Imposes 30-Day Travel Ban on 26 European Countries
12 Mar 2020

FAQs

I had been working in H1B status, but I came to India in February, and I have been stuck here for months due to the pandemic. My H1B employer has now laid me off, but my H1B visa and petition are still valid. Can I travel to the U.S. in H1B to look for a new employer? (20.Jul.2020)

In the current situation, is premium processing time affected? Is the turnaround for premium processing the same as before? (06.Jul.2020)

If you have an approved H1B extension and are currently in the U.S., can you travel to India, get a visa stamp (when consulates reopen) and reenter? (06.Jul.2020)

Now that Trump has signed an executive order to suspend approval of green cards for those outside of the U.S., can we still apply for I-130 for parents who are in India? (01.Jul.2020)

Prior to issuance of the executive order, I scheduled an appointment to get my H1B visa stamp at a consulate in September. Can I still proceed to the appointment? (01.Jul.2020)

I’m currently working on H1B visa and the extension got approved recently. My wife went for a short visit to India but couldn’t get her H-4 visa stamped in time before executive order. She has a B-2 visa in her passport. Is it possible for her to visit the U.S. using her B-2? (01.Jul.2020)

My mother is visiting me in the U.S., but her tourist visa expires next month. I want to apply for a 6-month extension for her. Can the USCIS grant an extension beyond the visa expiration date? (15.Jun.2020)

I am a U.S. citizen, and my parents are currently visiting from India. They had planned on going home in May, but that has not been possible. Can I sponsor them for a green card now? Does President Trump’s executive order prohibit that? (15.Jun.2020)

Is it true that President Trump is about to issue an executive order to stop all H1B filings? (09.Jun.2020)

I am in India and have an approved H1B petition with a new employer. I was scheduled to get my H1B visa “stamp” in March, but the consulates were closed. Can the employer start a PERM case for me now? Or, do I have to wait until I come to the U.S.? (09.Jun.2020)

I am a green card holder, but have been staying in India since December 2019 to take care of my parents. I planned on coming back to the U.S. within six months, but the pandemic has forced me to stay in India longer. What should I do? Are there any special allowances being made because of COIVD-19? (09.Jun.2020)

My mother is in the U.S. in B-2 status, and her I-94 will expire soon. She has no way to return to India, so she is applying to extend her status. She will return to India as soon as flights resume. Will this prevent her from coming back in B-2 status next year? (03.Jun.2020)

Are there any updates on President Trump issuing an executive order to restrict H1B workers? Will it impact my H1B cap case? (28.May.2020)

A company submitted an H1B registration for me in March, but it was not selected in the lottery. Is it possible that a second round of lottery selections will take place?
(28.May.2020)

I read that the USCIS is going to resume in-person biometrics appointments soon. Does that mean the consulates are also being opened for visa appointments? (28.May.2020)

I am on STEM-OPT, and my current employer has furloughed me. I found another employer located abroad that is willing to hire me. Would that be permitted? (21.May.2020)

I am applying for an H1B extension, but just saw in the news that some senators have asked President Trump to suspend all H1Bs. Will this impact my extension? (14.May.2020)

I was laid off last month, but my employer is paying my salary for an additional 30 days. Does my 60-day grace period start on the day of my last paycheck? (14.May.2020)

My mother is in B-2 status and her I-94 is about to expire. I filed an extension for her last week, but it is still pending. What happens if her extension is not approved before her I-94 expires? (14.May.2020)

My H1B registration was selected in the lottery. I am having trouble getting all the documents I need for the H1B petition due to the COVID-19 situation. Has the USCIS extended the deadline for when we need to file the H1B petition? (07.May.2020)

I was laid off from my H1B job a few weeks ago, so I filed for a change of status to B-2. I now have a new company willing to sponsor me for an H1B position. Can I start working as soon as the petition is filed? (07.May.2020)

Do you know when the USCIS is supposed to bring back premium processing? (07.May.2020)

My fiancée and I were supposed to get married at a court for a civil wedding, but the courthouse is closed due to the pandemic. We have now found a priest who can perform the ceremony and sign the marriage certificate. Will the USCIS consider this a legal wedding? (29.Apr.2020)

I understand that the USCIS has temporarily suspended all premium processing during the pandemic. If I file an H1B petition now, and premium processing is reimplemented while my case is pending, can I then upgrade my case to premium? (29.Apr.2020)

I have a green card and went to India in Nov ’19, planning on spending about five months with my family. But, with the ongoing outbreak, it seems I will be here for more than six months. Will this put my green card in jeopardy? (29.Apr.2020)

I have an approved I-140 through my employer. However, I was recently laid off, and I fear the company my close entirely. If it does, will this impact my I-140? (23.Apr.2020)

My H1B extension was recently denied, and my I-94 has already expired. I am unable to leave the U.S. right now due to the pandemic. Is there any grace period being offered because of COVID-19? (23.Apr.2020)

My wife applied for an H-4 EAD several months ago, and the application is still pending. If the pandemic slows processing times, will she be permitted to keep working after her EAD expires? (23.Apr.2020)

I am in H1B status and have a Social Security Number; my wife is in H-4 status and has an ITIN. We filed U.S. taxes jointly last year. Do we qualify for the stimulus check? (15.Apr.2020)

Earlier this week, the USCIS posted on its website an announcement about delays in extension/change of status filings. The announcement also talks about the ability to file late. Does this provide any protections to H1B workers who are laid off? (15.Apr.2020)

I am a British citizen, and entered the U.S. using ESTA. My I-94 was issued through the end of April, but now it appears I may be stuck in the U.S. for a bit longer due to the epidemic. Can I extend my stay? (09.Apr.2020)

My mother’s B-2 I-94 is about to expire, and she would like to apply for an extension of stay because of COVID-19. She does not know how long she will have to stay, so she has not yet purchased a new return ticket home. Is a return ticket required to apply for an extension of B-2? (09.Apr.2020)

I have been working in H1B for a number of years, have paid my taxes, and contributed to this country. Is it true that, despite all this, I still am not eligible for the COVID-19 stimulus payment? This seems entirely unfair! (02.Apr.2020)

I have had a green card for a number of years and am in the process of applying for U.S. citizenship. I was recently laid off. Will this impact my naturalization application? Does it matter if I take unemployment benefits? (02.Apr.2020)

I am in H1B status and just got laid off due to the virus outbreak. Am I allowed to claim unemployment benefits? (26.Mar.2020)

I do not currently have health insurance. In my state, they are offering Coronavirus testing at no cost. If I get tested, will it create public charge issues for me? (26.Mar.2020)

My employer’s business has closed because of the outbreak, and I have been laid off from my H1B position. I do not wish to return to India right now, because of health concerns. Do I have any options to remain in the U.S.? (26.Mar.2020)

I heard that the USCIS shut down its field offices. Will this impact my pending H1B extension? What about my wife’s H-4 application? (19.Mar.2020)

I am in H-4 status. I was working for a company, but was just laid off due to the Coronavirus. Am I eligible to collect unemployment? Would that make me a public charge? (19.Mar.2020)

My elderly father entered on a visitor visa about five months ago, and his I-94 is scheduled to expire in about 1 month. I do not think he should travel right now because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Can he extend his stay? (19.Mar.2020)

Blogs

How the Recent SEVIS Exemptions Harm Students, Businesses, and the Nation
09 Jul 2020

When Can We Truly Celebrate America’s Independence?
09 Jul 2020

In Response to the Spread of COVID-19 in the United States, Immigrant Reactions May Vary
02 Jul 2020

The Argument for Protecting Immigration Programs During Global Pandemic
17 May 2020

Yet Another Study Shows H1B Workers Help Create Jobs for U.S. Workers
21 May 2020

Irish Repay NativeAmericans for 19th Century Act of Kindness
07 May 2020

Immigrants Proving to be Invaluable During Pandemic
23 Apr 2020

Undocumented Workers Suddenly More ‘Essential’ to U.S. Than Ever
09 Apr 2020

An American Dream Fulfilled: Dr. David Ho
02 Apr 2020

Cities in America’s Heartland Relying on Immigrants to Counter Population Losses
26 Mar 2020

COVID-19 Exposes Another Type of Virus – Racism
19 Mar 2020