COVID-19 and Brost Law Office

As we navigate through this global pandemic, Brost Law is committed to the health of our clients and our communities.


During this time of Social Distancing and Flattening the Curve, we at Brost Law Office are implementing  virtual appointments.


We have always offered teleconferencing and videoconferencing as options for office appointments. As of Monday, March 16, 2020 we will switching exclusively to virtual appointments until further notice.



Virtual Appointments

In order to serve our clients during the pandemic response, we are moving to virtual appointments to ensure that clients are not under served. It is very important to us to keep the flow of case work as normal as possible. Any appointments that have been scheduled will convert to a virtual appointment. An office representative will be contacting you to inform you of the change. We appreciate you patience as we adhere to WHO and AILA guidelines in response to COVID-19.

COVID-19 and Immigration Court

As of Monday, March 16, 2020 the USCIS Immigration Court has cancelled all NON-DENTAINED hearings. All Individual hearings for detained persons will be going forward.

INFORMATION REGARDING NON-DETAINED HEARINGS

All non-detained hearings scheduled through May 15, 2020, have been postponed.

USCIS Appointments and YOU

USCIS Temporary Office Closure Extended until at least May 3

On March 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services temporarily suspended in-person services at its field offices, asylum offices, and application support centers (ASCs) to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). USCIS offices will begin to reopen on May 4 unless the public closures are extended further. Employees in these offices are continuing to perform mission-essential services that do not require face-to-face contact with the public.

USCIS will continue to provide limited emergency services. Please call the Contact Center for assistance with emergency services.

USCIS field offices will send notices to applicants and petitioners with scheduled appointments and naturalization ceremonies impacted by the extended temporary closure. USCIS asylum offices will send interview cancellation notices and automatically reschedule asylum interviews. When the interview is rescheduled, asylum applicants will receive a new interview notice with the new time, date and location of the interview. When USCIS again resumes normal operations, USCIS will automatically reschedule ASC appointments due to the temporary office closure. You will receive a new appointment letter in the mail. Individuals who had InfoPass or other appointments must reschedule through the USCIS Contact Center once field offices are open to the public again. Please check to see if the office in your jurisdiction has been reopened before reaching out to the USCIS Contact Center.

Education and precautions are the strongest tools against infection. Get the latest facts by visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 website. Continue to practice good health habits, refrain from handshakes or hugs as greetings, and wash hands and clean surfaces appropriately.

USCIS will provide further updates as the situation develops and will continue to follow CDC guidance. Please also visit uscis.gov/coronavirus for updates. 

Biometrics​

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that it will reuse previously

submitted biometrics in order to process valid Form I-765, Application for Employment

Authorization, extension requests due to the temporary closure of Application Support Centers

(ASC) to the public in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This announcement

is consistent with existing USCIS authorities regarding the agency’s ability to reuse previously

submitted biometrics.

Allow Reuse of Some Biometrics

Applicants who had an appointment scheduled with an ASC on or after the March 18 closure or

who filed an I-765 extension will have their application processed using previously submitted

biometrics. This will remain in effect until ASCs resume normal operations.

For More Information

Education and precautions are the strongest tools against infection. Continue to practice good

health habits, refrain from handshakes or hugs as greetings, and wash hands and clean surfaces

appropriately.

USCIS will provide further updates as the situation develops and will continue to follow the

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance. Please visit uscis.gov/coronavirus for the

latest facts and other USCIS updates.

Kind regards,

Public Engagement Division

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Public Charge Rule



1. Will getting tested, treatment or preventative care for COVID-19 impact my client’s immigration application under the public charge rule?

On March 13, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the agency will not consider “testing, treatment, nor preventative care (including vaccines, if a vaccine becomes available) related to COVID-19” as part of a public-charge determination, nor as related to the public benefit condition applicable to certain nonimmigrants seeking an extension of stay or change of status, even if such treatment is provided or paid for by one or more public benefits (e.g., federally funded Medicaid). USCIS is encouraging anyone with symptoms that resemble COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath) to seek necessary medical treatment or preventive services. USCIS has indicated that such treatment or preventive service “will not negatively affect any alien as part of a future public charge analysis.”

2. Will obtaining unemployment insurance impact my client’s immigration application under the public charge rule?

Unemployment insurance payments are not generally taken into consideration by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for purposes of making a public charge determination. As DHS explained in its final rule on inadmissibility on public charge grounds, “DHS would not consider federal and state retirement, Social Security retirement benefits, Social Security Disability, post secondary education, and unemployment benefits as public benefits under the public charge inadmissibility determination as these are considered to be earned benefits through the person’s employment and specific tax deductions.” In addition, USCIS indicates in Volume 8, Part G, Chapter 10 of the USCIS Policy Manual that unemployment benefits are not considered by USCIS in a public charge inadmissibility determination as unemployment insurance is considered by USCIS as an “earned” benefit. For a non-exhaustive list of other public benefits that USCIS does not consider in the public charge inadmissibility determination, please see Volume 8, Part G, Chapter 10 of the USCIS Policy Manual.

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has not confirmed whether treatment or care related to COVID-19 will be considered as part of its public charge totality of the circumstances analysis. Moreover, the DOS Interim Final Rule and the Foreign Affairs Manual do not directly address the issue of how unemployment benefits will impact public charge determinations made by consular officers at U.S. consulates overseas. AILA's DOS Liaison Committee is seeking clarification from DOS regarding how consular officers will factor in unemployment insurance compensation in public charge determinations at U.S. consulates overseas.

How Will the Administration's Immigration Ban Effect Me???

Given the amount of concern and anticipation since Monday, April 20, 2020 regarding the administration's immigration ban, here is a simple list of questions to see if you will be impacted by the Proclamation. The Proclamation will only impact individuals who can answer YES to ALL of the following questions and statements:

Are you outside of the United States?

Are you applying for a green card?

Is your immigrant visa issued on or after April 23, 2020?

Was your immigrant visa obtained because of ANY one of the following reasons?

You have a child who is a United States citizen.

You have a sibling who is a United States citizen.

You have a parent who is a United States citizen, and you are over 21 y ears of age.

Your employer petitioned for you (or you self petitioned) because you are an foreign national of extraordinary ability, outstanding professor and researcher, or multi-national executive and manager (EB-1); you possess exceptional ability (EB-2); you are a skilled worker (EB-3); or you are a special immigrant (EB-4).

You are not seeking to enter the U.S. as a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional, to perform medical research intended to combat the spread of COVID, or to perform work essential to combating recovering from or alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, as determined by DOS or DHS.

You are not seeking to enter the U.S. as a SI and SQ special immigrant (Iraqi and Afghani translators and religious workers).

DOS / DHS has not determined that you will further important US law enforcement objectives.

DOS / DHS has not determined that your entry will be in the national interest.

You do not qualify for any other exemption listed on the Proclamation.

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