US Immigration Response to Typhoon Haiyan

by Joseph McKeown

USCIS has issued a press release highlighting the ways Filipino nationals affected by Typhoon Haiyan can make use of certain immigration relief measures. Since natural disasters can affect "an individual’s ability to establish or maintain lawful immigration status in the United States," USCIS offers these benefits (which apply to not only Filipino nationals but others affected by natural disasters or extreme situations): 

  • Change or extension of nonimmigrant status for an individual currently in the United States, even when the request is filed after the authorized period of admission has expired;
  • Extension of certain grants of parole made by USCIS;
  • Extension of certain grants of advance parole, and expedited processing of advance parole requests;
  • Expedited adjudication and approval, where possible, of requests for off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship;
  • Expedited processing of immigrant petitions for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs);
  • Expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications, where appropriate; and
  • Assistance to LPRs stranded overseas without immigration or travel documents, such as Permanent Resident Cards (Green Cards).

More information on these humanitarian relief measures and others is here. It is also important to be aware of any scams.