Immigration Relief Measures for Filipino Typhoon Victims

Immigration Relief Measures for Filipino Typhoon VictimsTyphoon Haiyan has dominated the news with shocking images of the destruction it has caused. It has left many homeless, without food and water. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it will provide relief measures for those affected by Typhoon Haiyan. The agency will assist those who are unable to maintain lawful status in the U.S. due to the typhoon.

Typhoon victims who hold non-immigrant visas can change their non-immigrant status or extend their stay in the U.S. They will be permitted to extend their stay or to change their status even if their authorized period of admission has expired.

They can file for an extension of certain grants of parole made by the USCIS and they can request expedited processing of advance parole requests. People whose adjustment of status applications are pending and who need to travel abroad to visit their family members affected by the typhoon can apply for advance parole documents. Applications for advance parole filed by such applicants will be processed faster by the USCIS.

Applications for off-campus employment filed by F-1 students who are experiencing severe economic hardship and who are affected by the typhoon, will be processed faster. USCIS is also identifying and expediting processing of Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, filed by U.S. citizens for their immediate relatives who have been affected by Haiyan. People who have filed Form I-130, can check the status of their applications online. They need to respond to the requests the USCIS sends and reply to the service center that sent the notice.

Likewise, applications for employment authorization documents filed by the victims will processed faster than the normal processing time. Permanent residents (green card holders) affected by typhoon Haiyan, who do not have their immigration papers and travel documents will be assisted by the USCIS and the U.S. Department of State. Those stranded in places without USCIS offices will also be assisted by the USCIS.

People affected by Typhoon Haiyan can now apply for the available immigration benefits. These benefits have been made available by the USCIS in order to help the victims of Haiyan who have lost their immigration papers, to maintain their lawful status in the U.S.