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As of March 21, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept electronically reproduced original signatures in lieu of “wet” signatures on all benefit forms and documents. USCIS implemented the temporary change as a result of the COVID-19 national emergency, and the change only applies to signatures. All other form instructions still apply.

A document may be “scanned, faxed, photocopied, or similarly reproduced provided that the copy must be of an original document containing an original handwritten signature, unless otherwise specified.” Employers and individuals must retain a copy of the original document because USCIS may request the original document at any time. Failure to produce the original document may have a negative impact on the adjudication of the immigration benefit.

Ogletree Deakins’ Immigration Practice Group will continue to monitor developments with respect to the policy changes and will post updates on the Immigration blog and the firm’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center as additional information becomes available. Critical information for employers is also available via the firm’s webinar programs.

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Ogletree Deakins has one of the largest business immigration practices in the United States and provides a wide range of legal services for employers seeking temporary business visas and permanent residence on behalf of foreign national employees.

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