The immigration field office in Santa Clara and in cities nationwide reopened Thursday after being closed for nearly three months because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services field and asylum offices closed March 18 and resumed non-emergency face-to-face services from 7am to 3:45pm on weekdays at 1450 Coleman Ave. in Santa Clara. The Bay Area's office for asylum cases is in San Francisco.
Online filing remains the most convenient and interactive way to submit forms, immigration officials said this week, encouraging individuals to check the status of cases at uscis.gov/forms/file-online.
Immigration lawyers are encouraging young people participating in DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, to attempt to renew their employment authorization as soon as possible, because the program faces possible termination this year.
U.S. immigration fees have risen by an average of 21 percent, with some increases running even higher. Naturalization fees jumped from $640 to $1,170 and adjustment applications from $1,225 to $2,195.
Immigration officials assured that they have enacted precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in reopened facilities. Specifically:
- Visitors may not enter if they have symptoms of COVID-19, 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.
- Visitors may not enter the facility more than 15 minutes prior to their appointment (30 minutes for naturalization ceremonies).
- Hand sanitizer will be provided for visitors at entry points.
- Members of the public must wear facial coverings that cover both the mouth and nose when entering facilities. If they do not have one, USCIS may provide one or the visitor will be asked to reschedule their appointment.
- Individuals may also have to answer health screening questions before entering a facility.
Appointment notices will include further instructions for visiting USCIS facilities. For more information, see the USCIS Visitor Policy.