The United Sates Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices have officially reopened their buildings, including the local USCIS office in Norfolk, Virginia.
As USCIS appointments begin again, we want you to be aware of the guidance USCIS has set forth to ensure the health and safety of all who enter its buildings.
In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in USCIS facilities, the following precautions have been enacted:
- Only people with appointments will be let in the building. This means that no walk-in appointments will be given at this time.
- Visitors may not enter a USCIS building more than 15 minutes prior to their appointment, or 30 minutes prior if it's a naturalization ceremony (but being on time is still extremely important!).
- Masks that cover the nose and mouth are required for every person entering a USCIS building, and provided hand sanitizer will be required upon entry.
- Visitors should bring their own black or blue pens.
- As has been typical of most other public places, people may not enter a USCIS facility if they:
- Have any symptoms of COVID-19, including cough, fever, or difficulty breathing;
- Have been in close contact with anyone known or suspected to have COVID-19 in the last 14 days; or
- Have been individually directed to self-quarantine or self-isolate by a health care provider or public health official within the last 14 days.
What if my appointment was canceled?
If you had an appointment with USCIS during the time when USCIS facilities were closed, check this webpage for what to do, depending on the type of appointment you had scheduled. Some canceled appointments, such as biometrics or fingerprints appointments, will be automatically rescheduled, but if you have not received a new notice, please contact USCIS here.
You can reschedule appointments and/or request disability assistance by calling USCIS at 1 (800) 375-5283.
What about Norfolk?
Our local USCIS facility has reopened, but is re-starting appointments in phases.
The first phase will focus on Naturalization ceremonies and benefits appointments and have already gotten underway. This will be followed by a gradual ramp up back to normally scheduled appointments. USCIS indicates that biometrics appointments for fingerprints will hopefully begin within the next few weeks.
As for appointments in Norfolk, the following restrictions will be in place, in addition to the ones listed above:
- Children should be left at home or childcare should be arranged.
- Attorneys will be allowed to attend USCIS interviews telephonically.
- Interpreters will also appear telephonically.
We are excited that appointments are beginning again. If you have questions about your upcoming USCIS appointment, feel free to contact Valverde Law at (757) 422-8472.