If one recalls the earthquake from back in 2010 that hit Haiti, USCIS provided some relief options for Haitians affected by the earthquake, whether it was those currently living in Haiti or Haitians still in the United States. Recently, USCIS issued a statement regarding immigration relief options for Filipinos affected by Typhoon Haiyan. USCIS understands that a natural disaster can affect an individual’s ability to establish or maintain lawful immigration status in the United States. Therefore, Filipino nationals impacted by Typhoon Haiyan may be eligible to benefit from the following immigration relief measures:
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). USCIS and the Department of State will coordinate on these matters when the LPR is stranded in a place that has no local USCIS office.
If you or anyone you know are Filipino and have been affected by Typhoon Haiyan, some of these options may apply to you. Since it is unclear how long these immigration relief measures will remain available, it is best to find out what options are available now. Our office can determine whether you qualify for any of the relief provided above so your case can be processed quicker by USCIS.