August 22, 2014
Ana Maria Echiburu Tyrrell
On Friday, August 15, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it would extend certain immigration related relief to nationals of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone who are currently in the U.S. It is worth noting that USCIS is not facilitating the arrival to the U.S. of individuals from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
USCIS made the decision to provide humanitarian relief to these nationals based on the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa that has claimed at least 1,200 lives and is continuing to spread in the region. USCIS has extended this type of relief in the past in response to natural catastrophes, such as Typhoon Haiyan.
The relief measures that USCIS has extended to nationals of these affected countries include:
- Allowing individuals to change or extend their temporary status even if the request is filed after their previous status has expired;
- Granting some extensions of parole that were issued by USCIS;
- Expediting some pending cases of off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students with severe economic need;
- Expediting pending green card applications for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens;
- Expediting processing of applications for employment authorization in certain circumstances; and
- Waiving filing fees for USCIS applications under certain circumstances.
If you are a national of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone and believe you may benefit from one of the relief measures announced by USCIS, please contact our office to speak with an attorney.