The Impact of COVID-19 on US Immigration

The Impact of COVID-19 on US Immigration

The COVID-19 pandemic, along with its federal response, had a major disruptive effect on virtually every aspect of the US immigration system. Processes such as calculating immigration benefits and overseas visa processing by the Department of State reached a standstill early on in the year, with border entry becoming severely restricted.

On 20th September 2021, the Biden administration announced plans to lift travel ban restrictions around November for people who have proof of being fully vaccinated, along with having a negative coronavirus test.

Here is an overview of the impact of COVID-19 on the US immigration system:

Nonimmigrants and immigrants abroad

Routine visa services were suspended around the world, including applications for family-based and employment-based immigrant visas. Only H-2 visa cases continued to be processed, including temporary workers for agriculture and making allowances for emergencies. Some consulates have been open since mid-July of 2020. However, there are many new barriers to legal immigration. The purpose was stated to be to preserve employment opportunities for citizens who have been affected by the negative economic impact of COVID-19.

Immigration processing at borders

The US prohibited non-essential travel between borders early on during the pandemic. The Border Patrol then started to expel individuals at the Mexican border without providing any opportunity for asylum.  Migrant Protection Protocols hearings were also suspended indefinitely, leaving upwards of 20,000 individuals stranded in Mexico or forcefully returned home after abandoning their cases.

Immigration processing within the US.

The USCIS initially suspended all of their in-person services before slowly reopening them in specific locations. As such, interviews and asylum applications were postponed to be rescheduled at a later date after normal operations are resumed. The suspension of oath ceremonies also delayed the immigration process of thousands of immigrants into becoming citizens.

A US passport gained with the help of an immigration lawyer in Silver Spring

Find an experienced immigration attorney in Baltimore

The internet is chockfull of facts and information; however, the immigration process has complicated legal jargon and terminologies that you may not always understand. It’s best to get the help of an experienced lawyer to get a proper understanding of the process.

If you’re looking to immigrate to the U.S, an immigration lawyer is your best resource for understanding all of the requirements, knowing what paperwork you need to file, and ensuring a streamlined process. The Lincoln Law Group’s compassionate lawyers are committed to serving you as best as possible with our team of immigration lawyers, tax attorneys, family law attorneys, personal injury lawyers, and criminal defense attorneys in Maryland and Washington DC.

For more information on immigration’s legalities or to schedule an appointment with our immigration lawyer in Baltimore, Silver Spring, Towson, and DC, call us at 877-619-9112.

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