On Thursday, October 10, 2013, the Nebraska Service Center held a teleconference. Please see CLINIC’s notes from the call that touched on the following topics:
1. Can you please cover reinstatement and STEM OPT? The specific scenario is this – Student on OPT forgot to mail the application for STEM OPT extension in a timely manner (the application was one week late). USCS denied the STEM OPT extension. Is there such a thing as reinstatement of OPT status?
For STEM extensions, the regulations are clear that the application for extinction must be filed while the student is validly in OPT. The NSC is unaware of any procedure to reinstate someone to student status after the expiration of an EAD card.
2. If an applicant needs to travel due to emergency circumstances before the biometrics appointment is scheduled, can NSC provide the following:
- A designated procedure for expediting biometrics including improved and reliable communication and coordination between NSC and Field Offices (since the ASCs are generally under the control of the Field Offices);
- Greater flexibility for Reentry Permit applicants to appear for biometrics outside of their scheduled ASC appointment time (e.g., applicant is scheduled for biometrics on Oct. 7 but needs to leave the U.S. on Oct. 4 or applicant will be flying back to the U.S. specifically for the biometrics appointment) AND at an ASC in a city other than where scheduled.
When the NSC is aware of an expedite request, it schedules appointments for the ASCs at the first available time. ASCs are generally very helpful in scheduling appointments to meet applicants’ needs prior to their scheduled appointment time or at a different office. The best way to do that is to make an appointment for the field office through Infopass. Bring the biometric notice and information about the emergency to the appointment. The ASCs are usually very helpful in getting biometrics done to meet the applicants needs.
3. Can you please give examples of acceptable documents to show that someone's income is at or below the 150% the Federal Poverty Guidelines. NSC has kicked back several 2012 tax returns as not an acceptable document.
If the application is one that is sent to the lockbox for processing, then it is the lockbox that handles the fee waiver application, not the NSC.
4. Often a typographical error in the petition or application, such as in the beneficiary’s last name or date of birth, results in approval notices that contain the same errors. The documents attached to the filing contain the correct information and the filing as a whole clearly indicates that the error was indeed typographical. We have received inconsistent results when the error is reported by inquiry to NCSC. Often the error is fixed by USCIS’s issuance of an amended notice. On other occasions, however, USCIS requires a formal amendment to the filing, which results in substantial additional cost. Does the NSC have a policy by which such errors can be corrected without a formal amendment filing?
If the error is noticed prior to adjudication of the application or petition, contact the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 800-375-5283. If this does not resolve the issue, contact the NSC at firstname.lastname@example.org . If the error is discovered after approval of the application or petition and the error was caused by information entered by the applicant or petitioner, an amended petition may be required.