USCIS Offer Services For Immigrants Affected by Ukraine War

Mar 14, 2022

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services


On Friday, March 4, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services agency made an announcement to remind immigrants affected by extreme situations, such as the invasion of Ukraine, that immigration help is available upon request. 

Certain measures will be taken on a case-by-case basis. USCIS asks that those who request help be able to explain how the unpredicted circumstance resulted in a need for relief aid. For example, if an individual experiences delays in their travels or the processing of their documents due to a situation that was out of their control, USCIS may take that into consideration and excuse their delay. 

The USCIS’s announcement contained specific examples of deadline extensions and interview flexibility in the case of extreme circumstances for which they would accommodate. Per their announcement, this could include:

    • 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;
    • Flexibility if you were unable to appear for a scheduled interview with USCIS
      • Show how the special situation affected your ability to appear at the interview with documents or otherwise;
    • 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; and
    • Rescheduling a biometric services appointment.
      • Show how the special situation affected your ability to attend the appointment with documents or otherwise;

The USCIS possesses the sole discretion to accommodate or deny a request, but applicants who wish to submit one can follow the instructions here and may be asked to submit additional documents afterward. According to the USCIS, an expedite request may be filed for:

    • Expedited processing of advance parole requests;
    • Expedited adjudication of requests for off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship;
      • Applicants must submit two forms:  Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization and Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status
    • Expedited adjudication of petitions or applications, including employment authorization applications, when appropriate; and
    • 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; 

Other immigration services the USCIS announced that they would be considering for applicants undergoing extreme circumstances beyond their control include:

    • Reparole of individuals previously granted parole by USCIS; and
    • Consideration of fee waiver requests due to an inability to pay;
      • Those who cannot afford the service or benefit fee may file a Request for Fee Waiver form, Form I-912, which can be found here.

At the Law Offices of Wiliani-Malek, a full-service immigration law firm in Santa Ana providing both employment- and family-related visa services, we can also assist individuals on other legal matters relating to their immigration goals. 

If you have any questions regarding your application or would like to book a consultation, call us immediately at (714) 432 – 1333. The earlier you call, the better!