U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced filing flexibilities to provide relief to certain applicants and petitioners affected by delays at a USCIS lockbox. These flexibilities only apply to benefit requests submitted to a USCIS lockbox and not to USCIS service centers or field offices, the agency said.
The following temporary flexibilities are effective until August 9, 2021:
- If an applicant/petitioner submitted a benefit request to a USCIS lockbox between October 1, 2020, and April 1, 2021, and that request was rejected during that timeframe solely due to a filing fee payment that expired while the benefit request was awaiting processing, the applicant/petitioner may resubmit the request with a new fee payment. If USCIS concurs that it rejected the benefit request because of the delay, USCIS will deem the request to have been received on the initial filing date it was first received and waive the $30 dishonored check fee.
- USCIS will allow applicants/petitioners to submit documentation with a benefit request resubmission demonstrating that because of the time that elapsed between when a benefit request was originally submitted to a USCIS lockbox and when USCIS rejected it, an applicant, co-applicant, beneficiary, or derivative has reached an age that makes them no longer eligible to file for the benefit requested. If USCIS agrees that the delayed rejection caused the person to be ineligible due to age, USCIS will accept the request and deem it to have been received on the date the initial benefit request was received. This flexibility does not apply to Form N-600K, Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322.
Applicants and petitioners can contact USCIS to verify that previously filed benefit requests were not rejected in error. If USCIS concurs, it may allow applicants and petitioners to resubmit an erroneously rejected benefit request and deem the benefit request to have been received on the date the initial benefit request was first received at a USCIS lockbox, the agency said.