On Mar 19 2020 by H. Ronald Klasko

FIRM NEWS: Update on Firm Operations During Coronavirus Outbreak

The purpose of this alert to update you on developments at Klasko Immigration Law Partners during this difficult time and to assure you that our firm is in full operation and prepared to continue to meet our clients’ needs while complying with local and national mandates.

Before detailing the changes in our operations during this national emergency, we want to extend our sincere wishes for the continued health and safety of you, your colleagues and loved ones. Please stay safe and stay well.

At present, the US government has not announced any changes in filing deadlines or requirements that relate to immigration, with a limited exception of the foreign nationals in the US on the visa waiver program. Unless and until changes are announced, we are fully prepared to meet all existing deadlines. We have developed and implemented a plan that enables us to serve our clients while our employees are working remotely. We know that this is a particularly uncertain and stressful time for everyone, and we are pleased to assure you that we remain ready and able to address all questions or issues that arise.

While we cannot predict how long this emergency will continue, we are prepared to serve our clients remotely for an extended period. We do not anticipate interruptions in the high level of service you are accustomed to receiving.

I want to use this opportunity to address some of the specific questions that we have been asked:

  1. Will you continue working on my case(s) during the shutdown?
    Yes! We have the technology to work remotely and we will continue to work on cases and answer any questions you may have during this process. The quality of our services remains our priority as we take precautions to protect the health and wellness of our staff and our community.  
  2. Will you be checking your email?
    Yes! Everyone at the firm will continue to have access to our emails; however, we would appreciate your patience and understanding if our responses are delayed. Email will be the best method of communication during office closures.
  3. Can I call you if I have any questions?
    Yes! We are forwarding our calls and will have access to our voicemails. However, we would request all non-emergency communications to be sent through email.
  4. Can I still mail you documents or forms/checks?
    Yes! As long as USPS is still delivering mail, we will have access to our mail. We ask that you send all documents/forms/checks to us through the United States Postal Service.
  5. Can I send you documents through FedEx/DHL/UPS?
    No – We ask that all hard-copy documents be sent to us through the U.S. Postal Service as we are not certain we will be able to have courier deliveries re-routed.
  6. Will you receive mail from USCIS/Department of Labor?
    Yes! We will continue to have access to mail sent via U.S. Postal Service during this shutdown.
  7. When will my case be filed?
    Our primary goal is to timely file all cases to meet government deadlines or status-driven deadlines. However, we are cognizant that our ability to do so will depend on the continued functioning of the United States Postal Service, FedEx, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. If these companies/agencies shut down, there will be a disruption in our ability to file cases.
  8. What happens if USCIS is shut down and my status is expiring?
    If USCIS shuts down, we expect that USCIS will issue a notice explaining how it will handle a delayed filing. Right now, on its website, USCIS confirms that in the event that a change or extension of status expires before a timely filing, it may excuse the delay if it was due to extraordinary circumstances beyond your control. We believe and will advocate that large cities shutting down in the United States qualifies as extraordinary circumstances.
  9. What can I do to help?
    We ask for your patience and understanding during this national emergency.

This situation is evolving each day, with more cities requiring shutdowns or issuing shelter-in-place orders and more government agencies shutting down or restricting operations. We will keep you posted if there are any significant updates with respect to USCIS/USPS.

We thank you for your patience and understanding.

 

The material contained in this article does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only.  An attorney-client relationship is not presumed or intended by receipt or review of this presentation.  The information provided should never replace informed counsel when specific immigration-related guidance is needed.

© 2020 Klasko Immigration Law Partners, LLP.  All rights reserved. Information may not be reproduced, displayed, modified or distributed without the express prior written permission of Klasko Immigration Law Partners, LLP.  For permission, contact info@klaskolaw.com.