USCIS applicants advised to gather docs in the meantime


With U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offices temporarily closed until April 7 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is advising applicants to start gathering documents such as birth certificates that they may need if they are preparing to file for immigration benefits.

USCIS public affairs Claire K. Nicholson said Friday that, while USCIS offices remain closed to limit coronavirus exposure risk to employees and applicants, gathering documents is among the five things that applicants can do now.
In an email to Saipan Tribune, Nicholson said that applicants can also ask Emma, USCIS’ online virtual assistant, which is available 24 hours a day to answer questions about immigration procedures and processes.

She said applicants can create a USCIS account, which is free and easy.

“It allows you to file online, track your case, and communicate electronically with USCIS,” she said.

Nicholson said applicants can update their address with USCIS to ensure they receive documents and notifications.
Finally, she said, applicants can consider online filing.

She said there are eight applications currently available, such as the application to naturalize, petition for a family member, and replace a green card.

Nicholson said individuals needing assistance with an immediate immigration need should call the USCIS Contact Center toll-free 1-800-375-5283 or 1-800-767-1833 (TDD) or visit the USCIS Contact Us page.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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