USCIS Reminds Filipinos of Immigration Relief Measures Following Typhoon; US-CERT Warns About Scams
Following Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in the Philippines, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is reminding Filipino nationals that they may be eligible for certain immigration relief measures if requested.
USCIS said it understands that a natural disaster can affect an individual’s ability to establish or maintain lawful immigration status in the United States. Filipino nationals affected 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 (for more on this, see http://www.uscis.gov/forms/expedite-criteria);
- 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 said that it and the Department of State will coordinate on these matters when the LPR is stranded in a place that has no local USCIS office.
Meanwhile, US-CERT (United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team) issued a warning about disaster-related scams and phishing attacks. After a natural disaster, phishing emails and websites requesting donations for bogus charitable organizations often appear. US-CERT said users should be aware of potential email scams and phishing attacks regarding the Philippines typhoon disaster. Email scams may contain links or attachments that may direct users to phishing or malware-laden websites.
US-CERT encourages users to take various measures to protect themselves, including not clicking on unsolicited web links or attachments in email messages, and reviewing the Federal Trade Commission’s Charity Checklist and the Better Business Bureau’s National Charity Report Index.
- The USCIS announcement
- Additional information on types of relief
- Information from US-CERT on disaster-related scams