After suspending approval of green card requests to immigrants abroad seeking U.S. residency, the Trump administration has also halted processing requests from green card applicants already living in the country.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services told employees this week that a “general hold” on permanent residency applications filed from immigrants within the United States would remain in place. But it updated a list of exemptions to the hold in a Wednesday email and other internal communication seen by CQ Roll Call. It was not clear when the hold was originally implemented.
Exemptions to the hold include applications of medical providers. The USCIS also allows immigration officers to submit applications that concern an “emergent or sensitive matter” outside these exemptions to their supervisors for consideration.
The USCIS said the hold on processing green card applications from current U.S. residents stems from the temporary suspension of in-person services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency said its current priority was to resume naturalization ceremonies, which have also been interrupted because of the pandemic.
“We’re conducting emergent adjustment of status interviews and cases related to fighting COVID-19 and will begin to resume other in-person services in the future,” the agency said in a statement.
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