In the wake of the recent severe storms and flooding that have already killed 13 people and forced thousands of residents into shelters in Baton Rouge, La., US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reminds customers that the agency offers disaster relief to immigrants who are affected by the circumstances.
Relief measures, which are available on request through the USCIS National Customer Service Center, include:
- A change of nonimmigrant status or an extension of nonimmigrant stay for individuals who are currently in the United States, even in cases where the request is filed after the authorized period of admission is expired;
- A re-parole of individuals who been granted parole previously by USCIS;
- An expedition on the processing of advance parole requests;
- An expedition of the adjudication of requests for off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students who are experiencing severe economic hardship;
- An expedition of the adjudication of employment authorization applications in cases where appropriate;
- A consideration of fee waivers due to an individual’s inability to pay;
- Some assistance for individuals who’ve received a Request for Evidence or a Notice of Intent to Deny but weren’t able to appear for an interview, submit evidence or respond in a timely manner;
- A replacement of damaged or lost immigration documents or travel documents issued by USCIS, including things like a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card);
- A rescheduling of a biometrics appointment.
“USCIS offers immigration relief measures that may help people affected by unforeseen circumstances,” according to an August 19 release on the Louisiana-related relief. “We cannot anticipate these events, but will do our best to help you get the benefits for which you qualify,” a USCIS humanitarian page reads. Individuals can reach the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283 (TDD for the deaf and hard of hearing: 800-767-1833.) More information is available at uscis.gov/humanitarian/special-situations.
President Obama will be visiting the flooded areas of Louisiana on his return from a vacation from Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. His visit comes several days after GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump surveyed the area with VP nominee Mike Pence.