USCIS Allows Flexibility in Submitting Required Signatures for Various Forms During COVID-19 Emergency
LAW IMM Analysis:
USCIS has announced that it will start accepting all forms that request immigration benefits with the USCIS with reproduced (copy) of original signatures. This includes the form I-129 petition, which is used to file for various non-immigrant employment-based petitions (such as E/H/L/O/P status categories), for submissions dated Saturday, March 21, 2020 and beyond.
USCIS does clarify that it already accept various petitions and applications that use electronically reproduced original signature. And this is an expansion of that practice by allowing documents that may be scanned, faxed, photocopied, or similarly reproduced, as long as the copy is of an original document that contains original handwritten signatures.
USCIS also explains that this policy will remain in effect for the full duration of the National Emergency (which was announced by President Trump on March 13, 2020) and it applies to forms that require an original ‘wet’ signature, and during this time, the USCIS will accept electronically produced original signatures.
USCIS does clarify that this temporary change in policy only applies to signatures, and that the applicant and/or entity that submits this type of signed document must still retain copies of the original document that contain the ‘wet signature’, because the USCIS may also randomly request the original documents, which if they cannot be produced, will negatively impact the adjudication of the immigration benefit.
We ask our readers to continue to follow our site for any further developments and updates regarding the USCIS. And should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to schedule a formal consultation with our office.