LOS ANGELES (CNS) - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services field offices in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley remain open for business amid the governor's shelter-in-place order.
Since USCIS is considered an essential business, it is open to handle scheduled interview and customer service appointments, taking precautions against the spread of the coronavirus.
Obtaining the certificate of naturalization that results from a successful naturalization interview is vital to being eligible for a host of benefits, from applying for Social Security benefits to voting. Permanent resident cards, known as green cards, confer benefits on the holder, as well.
Law dictates in-person interviews must be conducted for applicants to be eligible for those benefits. To ensure the safety and protection of applicants and employees, USCIS has implemented a number of engineering and administrative controls at all offices.
Applicants and visitors are prohibited from entering USCIS offices if any of the following situations apply to them:
-- they have any symptoms of COVID-19, including cough, fever or difficulty breathing;
-- they have been in close contact with anyone known or suspected to have COVID-19 in the last 14 days;
-- they have been individually directed to self-quarantine or self-isolate by a health care provider or public health official within the last 14 days; or
-- they are currently awaiting results of a COVID-19 test.
Visitors may not enter the facility more than 15 minutes prior to their appointment -- 30 minutes for naturalization ceremonies. Hand sanitizer is provided for visitors at entry points. Members of the public must wear facial coverings that cover both the mouth and nose when entering facilities. If they do not have one, USCIS may provide one, or the visitor will be asked to make a new appointment.
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