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Immigration process in times of coronavirus: what has changed

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In view of the recent Coronavirus pandemic, the United States has announced several changes regarding immigration services across the country. With that in mind, Drummond Advisors presents a compilation of frequently asked questions about the current immigration scenario that can help you with your doubts.

1. Are immigration services suspended?

No. Immigration services are considered essential by the American government, therefore, they are not suspended.

2. Are postal services still functioning?

Yes, these are also considered essential, and continue to function normally. Therefore, the filing of petitions was not affected by any outage in postal services.

3. Have the visa expiration dates changed?

No. There is no change in the expiration date for visas issued by the American government. Therefore, all expiration dates for visas and work permits remain unchanged.

4. Were there any changes in visa processing?

Yes. On March 20, the US government temporarily suspended the processing of Form I-907, also known as premium processing, which allows, through the payment of a US$ 1,440 fee, that several visas (E-2, H- 1B, H-2B, L-1A, L-1B, O-1, EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, etc.), are evaluated within 15 calendar days.

Upon suspension, no new premium processing requests will be accepted and petitions that have recently been submitted through Form I-907, if not answered by the USCIS within 15 days, will have their fees refunded.

5. Are call centers operating normally?

The centers for interviews and biometric collections in American territory are temporarily closed. Services centers for petition processing remain open, so far.

6. Are consulates operating normally?

No. American consulates in Brazil are closed indefinitely, all interviews scheduled within the next few weeks have been suspended and will be rescheduled. Only emergency visas will be analyzed.