Update Mar 20, 2020: USCIS has officially announced that there is no extension of H1B lottery registration period. The registration is open until 12 PM eastern time today.
USCIS has not stopped working. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is open and working on your visa application.
Many people on H1B, H4 and others are worried due to the US embassy’s decision to cancel all US visa appointments in India.
There is no need to worry and your pending H1B extension will be approved soon. The USCIS processing time might be affected and may see an increase due to the Coronavirus hiccups.
I expect to see a minor increase of about 20-30 days in overall H1B processing times due to Trump’s COVID-19 national emergency.
At this time, the H4 EAD, L2 EAD and other non-immigrant applications should see a marginal increase of about 15-25 days in approval processing timings.
Some USCIS Biometric Centers Closed
Some biometric centers in Washington have seen closures but it only affects biometric appointments.
You can visit any nearest center and your fingerprints will be taken if your scheduled center is closed.
All other USCIS service centers at California, Vermont, Nebraska, Texas and other places are open and processing your extension, change of status and other non-immigrant applications.
File New Extensions, Transfer, Change of Status
You can file your H1b extension, transfer or amendment, i485 green card adjustment of status, H4 EAD, F1 extension or any other application normally.
USCIS is open and will accept your application.
Note that extension application should be filed before i94 expiry. USCIS may not give relaxation later if you fail to file as USCIS is open.
USCIS Coronavirus Asylum Inquiries
As reported by AILA, USCIS has closed their Asylum offices for in person inquiries but will continue to work on applications in their back offices.
There is no official news from USCIS about any processing stops. As a matter of fact, USCIS is working on allowing its employees to work from home.