New USCIS Policy Allows Certain Electronically Copied Signatures During the COVID-19 Distancing Measures
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on March 20, 2020, a temporary new policy to accept all applications or petitions for immigration status or documents that contain scanned or “electronically reproduced” original signatures, including the Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. The temporary change affects petitions or applications for submissions dated March 21, 2020 or later.
Note that “electronically reproduced” means that a document may be scanned, faxed, photocopied, or similarly reproduced provided that for all forms that require an original “wet” signature, per form instructions, USCIS will accept electronically reproduced original signatures for the duration of the National Emergency. The copy must be of an original document containing an original handwritten signature. In other words, such electronic signatures as DocuSign would not be acceptable. This temporary change only applies to signatures. All other form instructions should be followed when completing a form.
Individuals or entities that submit documents bearing an electronically copied original signature must also retain copies of the original documents containing the “wet” signature. USCIS may, at any time, request the original documents, which if not produced, could negatively impact the adjudication of the immigration benefit.