COVID-19 Updates Related to US Immigration
Last updated: June 22, 2020
As you know, as COVID-19 spreads, our lives change and so too does the federal governments response. It appears federal agencies are making their own decisions with virtually no direction from the White House, likely because the White House didn't take this seriously early enough in the crisis.
What’s happening at Swenson Law Office?
Since March 25, 2020, we are working from home. We are answering the phone. Our physical office is closed to the public.
For new clients: Christine is still doing consults. They will be by phone or video. Please call us to get started or schedule it yourself.
For current clients who need to send us documents, please use one of the following ways:
- FAX to 720-414-2027
- Use a cloud-based file share services, like Dropbox.
- Email, though it is not as secure as FAX or cloud-based file shares
- Mail them by priority mail (so you have a tracking number) to PO Box 2373, Centennial, CO
For current clients who need to make a payment, please do so by:
- Credit or debit card here.
- Go to Key Bank and deposit the money directly. If you need help, please call us!
- Mail us a check or money order by priority mail (so you have a tracking number) to PO Box
2373, Centennial, CO 80161.
State Department – Consulates Abroad
All routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments are suspended beginning March 18, 2020.
No end date has been provided. Urgent and emergency services will continue to be provided as
resources allow. Individual embassies’ websites will provide direction for those needing help with
urgent/emergent matters for those with immediate travel needs.
State Department – US Passports
Due to public health measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, effective March 20, 2020, they are only able to offer service for customers with a qualified life-or-death emergency and who need a passport for immediate international travel within 72 hours.
Life-or-death emergencies are serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family (e.g. parent, child, spouse, sibling, aunt, uncle, etc) that require you to travel outside the United States within 72 hours (3 days). This page has more information about emergency procedures.
Homeland Security - USCIS - updated 06/15/2020
Field offices are re-opening for non-emergency, face-to-face services. Please know: this is an incredibly fluid situation. USCIS staff are continuing to perform duties that do not involve contact with the public. Naturalization ceremonies are being scheduled, and unfortunately notices are being sent with very little notice.
Here are some of the changes you'll see at your local field office:
- You may not enter the facility more than 15 minutes prior to their appointment (30 minutes for naturalization ceremonies).
- Hand sanitizer will be provided for you at entry points.
- You must wear facial coverings that covers both the mouth and nose when entering facilities. If you do not, you will be asked to reschedule your appointment.
- Pay close attention to these signs and floor markings to ensure you follow social distancing guidelines.
- You may also have to answer health screening questions before entering a facility.
- You are encouraged to bring your own black or blue ink pens.
Please call USCIS at 800-375-5283 or go online at this website to make an INFOPASS appointment.
Homeland Security – ICE - updated 4/21/2020
As a whole, ICE has suspended all in-person reporting and check-ins until further notice. This includes ISAP reporting/supervision. ICE (ISAP) will be utilizing telephone and other electronic reporting processes in the interim.
If you are required to check-in with an ICE official, please call your local office to get specific directions on what to do. For those in Colorado and Wyoming, that office’s number is 720-873-2899.
If you are required to check-in with ISAP, please call your case specialist before reporting to any in-person check-in appointment.
If you need the number for any other office, you can find that information here.
Homeland Security – Custom and Border Protection (CBP)
The federal government currently advises no one to travel. All non-essential travel (tourism and recreational travel) to the US from either Canada or Mexico is restricted effective March 21, 2020. This will last at least until April 21, 2020 and may be extended.
US citizens, lawful permanent residents, and their immediate families can still return from abroad and enter the United States. Of course, if you are showing symptoms of illness or have traveled to certain countries, you will be processed differently. Flights containing passengers from certain countries are being routed to one of the 13 selected airports with established resources. You can find more information about this here.
Immigrants traveling from China, Iran, and the 26 nation area referred to as the "Schengen Area" are still prohibited from entering the US. Those proclamations - 9984, 9992, and 9993 - are still in effect until this administration lifts them. Those traveling for pleasure to the US are not being allowed to enter. Those coming to the US without a visa will not be held in by CBP and instead will immediately be turned away from ports of entry.
Department of Justice – EOIR / Immigration Court - updated 6/22/2020
Unfortunately, compared to the agencies mentioned above, Immigration Court (nationwide) has been frustratingly slow in getting information out and being responsive to the health crisis. This webpage was finally established last week to provide updates. All hearings for non-detained people currently scheduled through July 10, 2020, have been postponed and new dates will be assigned.
Hearings for detained people are being announced almost daily but the majority are going forward as scheduled. Please check the website for details regarding Denver and Aurora immigration courts.
They encourage people to subscribe to its Twitter feed for the latest: @DOJ_EOIR.