USCIS Response to Coronavirus Outbreak in China

Eliza Grinberg's picture


On February 5, 2020, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a news update detailing its response to the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak in China [PDF version]. In this post, we will examine the contents of the update.

In a separate article, we discuss President Donald Trump's Presidential Proclamation limiting travel to persons who were present in China in the 14 days preceding entry or attempted entry into the United States [see article].

USCIS Beijing and Guangzhou Field Office Closures

In response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in China, the USCIS has temporarily closed its field offices in Beijing and Guangzhou. The USCIS will reschedule all appointments affected by the temporary closures when the Beijing and Guangzhou field offices are reopened. It will send new appointment notices to affected applicants.

Rescheduling Appointments in the United States

Individuals in the United States with scheduled USCIS appointments may reschedule if they are either sick or feeling symptoms of being sick. The individual's appointment notice includes instructions for rescheduling. Provided that the individual reschedules his or her appointment in accordance with the instructions on the appointment notice, there is no penalty for rescheduling. If an individual appears to be ill during his or her appointment, the USCIS officer may take it upon him or herself to reschedule.

Special Cases for Individuals In the United States

The USCIS may, upon request, provide special support for individuals who are negatively affected by natural or extreme circumstances. For example, “[w]hen applying for an extension or change of status due to a special situation that prevented your timely departure, we may take into consideration how the special situation prevented your departure.”


Individuals whose cases or immigration situations are affected by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in China should consult with an experienced immigration attorney for case-specific guidance.

USCIS Response to Coronavirus Outbreak in China