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USCIS Applicants Experience Receipt Notice Delays

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USCIS Applicants Experience Receipt Notice Delays

Have you or a loved one experienced a substantial delay between the time of filing a case with USCIS and issuance of receipt notices? This is not an uncommon theme these days. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has significantly delayed mailing out receipt notices for various types of cases.

A receipt notice, also known as a “Notice of Action” is issued by the USCIS to an applicant of a certain benefit and communicates receipt of the application or updates to its status.

Earlier this year, USCIS provided updates about delays in issuing receipt notices for some applications and petitions filed at a USCIS lockbox facility. According to the official USCIS statement,
“As a result of COVID-19 restrictions, an increase in filings, current postal service volume and other external factors, you may experience a delay of four to six weeks in receiving your receipt notice after properly filing an application or petition with a USCIS lockbox….Delays may vary among form types and lockbox locations.
USCIS also explained that an increase in filings in late 2020, coupled with restrictions necessary to protect the health and safety of its employees amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, accounted for these delays.

Delays in the issuance of receipt notices has several practical impacts on applicants and petitioners, especially regarding time-sensitive cases, including those with “age-out” risks, in which applicants could fall out of eligibility for the benefit they seek soon due to their age.

Moreover, delays cause issues related to work permits and travel documents, causing some non-citizens to lose their jobs or be unable to travel internationally, while others may be unable to renew driver’s license or State ID. . Another concern involves the validity of checks used to pay USCIS should the office receive them past their expiration.

Although the USCIS said in its January statement that it does not anticipate receipting delays that would result in “a payment that is past its validity date,” it does outline steps applicants can take to decrease the chance of receipting delays. Applicants are encouraged to file online, check the status of their cases online or request text message and/or email notification when an application/petition is accepted using a USCIS form.

If you or a loved one is seeking advice on a pending immigration case, contact Ibrahim Law Office, an immigration law firm, to schedule a consultation.

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