Immigration Relief for those affected by Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew was formed by a tropical wave on the African coast, which was pushed off in late September 2016. Its peak was around September 30 when it reached its maximum strength of Category 5 with 160 mph winds. The southeastern side of the United States was heavily hit, as it was moving south, towards the coast of Florida as well as North and South Carolina. Major flooding and insecure buildings have caused a death toll that has risen to approximately 33.

Natural disasters of such magnitude have lead to USCIS offering immigration relief measures to those foreign nationals who have been affected by Hurricane Matthew. It is important to understand that the following measures will be made available on case by case basis and upon request only.

USCIS relief measures

  • Facilitated processing of advance parole requests
  • Rescheduling of a biometrics appointment
  • Advanced adjudication of employment authorization applications
  • Re-parole of foreign nationals who have been previously granted parole by USCIS
  • Fee waivers due to an inability to pay, where appropriate
  • Green Card replacement and other lost or damaged documents, issued by USCIS
  • Foreign F-1 students who are experiencing severe economic hardship will be able to apply for an expedited adjudication of requests for off-campus work authorization.
  • Assistance will be provided to those who have received a Request for Evidence or a Notice of Intent to Deny but were unable to appear for the interview or to submit the required evidence.
  • Special exception for change of nonimmigrant status applications or extension of nonimmigrant stay in the United States. This is valid even for applications made after the specified admission period has expired.

Important note: Please remember that all applicants should always explain in detail how Hurricane Matthew affected them. It is mandatory for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to have well-argumented reasons when seeking immigration relief.

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