USCIS Offers COVID-19 Lockbox Filing Flexibilities

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By: Kirti Kalra

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is offering filing flexibilities for applicants affected by lockbox delays caused by COVID-19. This flexibility is only available for a limited time from June 10 to August 9, 2021, and only applies to requests submitted through a USCIS lockbox.

Some applicants have experienced delays in receiving receipt and rejection notices after filing requests with the USCIS lockbox system. Delays are caused by external issues like COVID-19 restrictions, an increase in filings, postal service problems, and more.

Temporary lockbox flexibilities with USCIS include:

  • Applicants may resubmit their requests and get their $30 dishonored check fee waived if:
    • They submitted a request to a USCIS lockbox from October 1, 2020 to April 1, 2021, and
    • The request was rejected due to a filing fee expiration while awaiting processing.
  • Applicants who aged out of a benefit due to a lockbox delay may resubmit their benefit request along with appropriate documentation. If USCIS agrees that the delay caused the applicant to age out of the benefit, the agency will process the request based on the initial receipt date. This flexibility will be provided on a case-by-case a basis and will not apply to Form N-600K, Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322.

Petitioners can contact USCIS if they believe their benefit was rejected in error. If USCIS agrees, these applicants may be permitted to resubmit their benefit requests, which will be classified with the original receipt date. USCIS provides additional information including the forms required for resubmission on its official Response to COVID-19 website.

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If you have questions related to USCIS lockbox filing delays or flexibilities, contact your trusted Chugh, LLP immigration professional.

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