Tuesday, April 20, 2021

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COVID-19 Pandemic’s Effect on US Immigration

No doubt about it, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted every single aspect of daily life for millions of people all over the world. Something that might have seemed hard to imagine a short while ago has become a reality, the strongest industries are faltering, people are afraid to engage in even the most mundane social interactions and government offices are closed.

As soon as you open the website for the USCIS, you get a message informing you that, as of March 18, routine in-person services have been suspended and emergency services will be provided only in emergency situations. However, you are encouraged to submit your application online.

What challenges do immigrants face now?

These days, immigrants face many additional and unexpected complications in their application process. Among them:

  • US embassies and consulates all over the world are not conducting routine immigrant and non-immigrant visa processing
  • Reductions in staff at the National Visa Center have resulted in their inability to respond to inquiries received at their online portal
  • Passport services are only open to those who have a qualified life-or-death emergency for immediate international travel
  • With USCIS suspending routine in-person services, applicants have had their interview for citizenship put on hold
  • Biometric appointments must now be rescheduled
  • Green Card holders who need an I-551 stamp in their passports as proof of their continued status are unable to make InfoPass appointments and get proof of their ongoing legal status

Daily Reality for Many Immigrants Today

Many recent immigrants into the United States have been dealing with issues such as not being able to speak the language, being unfamiliar with the American culture, and dealing with weather with which they are not familiar, among other struggles. Add to that the upheaval brought on by the pandemic, and their daily reality has just become a nightmare.

The economic fallout, coupled with the anxiety of not being able to go to work or having lost their jobs has created in them a feeling of fear and anxiety. Having to deal with the suspension of their immigration processing, being held in detention centers with no end in sight, or being unsure as to whether their asylum applications will be accepted or denied, has put undue stress on them as well.

Many fields such as food services, delivery workers, hospitality, personal services, elder care, and others, are generally staffed by immigrants. They not only represent jobs with lower pay and less access to healthcare but most have had to close their doors during the pandemic. Many of those workers also did not qualify for even a modest amount of economic aid. The situation of these immigrants has gone from a daily struggle that might one day be won to one with no end in sight.

Get Legal Help Now

As with anything affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, guidelines and situations relating to visa applications and immigration in all its forms may be rapidly changing and evolving. A Florida Immigration Law Firm will have your case as their top priority. As an immigrant or one in the process of becoming one, you have many layers of concern to contend with. Let your immigration attorney take some of that weight off your shoulders and point you in the right direction to obtain the immigration status you and your loved ones seek.

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