Defending People's Rights and Freedoms

U.S. Extends Humanitarian Assistance for Nationals of African Countries Striken by Ebola

Citizens of West African countries that are severely affected by the Ebola outbreak could take advantage of significant immigration relief measures instituted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in August, 2014. The Humanitarian measures would allow persons from Ebola ravished West African countries who are currently in the United States to obtain a change or extension of their non-immigrant status even if the authorized admission status has expired. Usually, non-immigrants seeking change or extension of status are required to file their application prior to the expiration of the status for which a change or extension is sought.

The new humanitarian measure means that citizens from Ebola ravished West African nations who have over stayed their time in the U.S. and currently subject to deportation could request extensions or change of status so that they could legally remain in the United States.

U.S. citizens who have filed petitions seeking immigration benefits for Nationals of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone may also request expedited processing of their petitions. Fee waivers for immigration applications may also be requested.

Nationals from the Ebola stricken nations may also seeks expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications. Students from these countries who are in the U.S. on F-1 student visas may also request expedited adjudication of requests for off-campus employment.

National from countries severely affected by Ebola who are in the U.S. are advised to consult competent immigration counsel for an assessment of how the humanitarian measures apply to their individual circumstances.