Nobel prize winning Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez, published Love in the Time of Cholera in in 1985. The novel takes place in a fictional city around the 1880s to early 1900s which is during a fifth worldwide cholera pandemic that spread from India through Asia, Europe, and South America. The novel includes a description of a passenger ship that needed to be quarantined due to the outbreak, a circumstance which has again become both relevant and prevalent on the world stage.
Today’s novel corona virus resulting COVID-19 are having widespread impacts throughout the world, with each day seeing sometime exponential increases in the number infected and number of deceased on a county by country and planetary basis. The pandemic has impacted the U.S. immigration system on several levels, and has thus impacted family-based immigration (love). As of the date of this writing USCIS is generally closed to in person interviews, fingerprint appointments, and naturalization ceremonies until at least May 3rd 2020. Immigration courts are closed for all non-detained cases until at least May 1, 2020.
Many of the government websites have been unable to keep up with the rapid changes and policy releases. So much so, that many respondents/clients and practitioner/attorneys are learning about these policies through Twitter and Facebook, after office hours or on the way to court or USCIS interviews! The are also people who have interview scheduled at various consulates around the world and some clients who are stuck abroad due to various airline and country policies about travel restrictions and general flight reductions.
For clients with interviews that have already been scheduled abroad many are unable to attend for failure to be able to get a flight, when for example countries such as El Salvador block incoming flights from the U.S. Even if one were able to get a flight, our office has been advising people not to leave the U.S. at this time, both for their own safety and due to the uncertainty of any given appointment happening. This is affecting marriage based consular process cases, fiancée visa cases, stateside waiver cases, and a plethora of other case types.
Navigating the U.S. immigration system both domestically and abroad can be challenging under the best of circumstances, but in the midst of a worldwide pandemic that is fundamentally shifting the way we work, shop, and interact with each other, it is especially valuable to have an experienced advocate to help you. Our office, as a legal service provider, is an essential business and we are still open to service the cases of our many current clients and we are of course still meeting with new clients and opening new cases (albiet over Zoom, Skype or by phone). If you are ready to file a petition for your loved one, be it a spouse, parent, or child, please reach out to our experienced immigration team to schedule a consultation and learn more about love and immigration in the time of Corona. A.G. Linett & Associates, PA 336-316-1190