On April 25, 2015, central Nepal was struck by a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake. According to news reports, more than 7000 people were killed, and an estimated 100,000 people have been injured. The aftermath of the disaster which has flattened small villages and destroyed neighborhoods in the capital city of Katmandu has lead to an aftermath of diseases from poor drinking water and lack of toilets. In response to the devastating disaster, United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) has implemented a number of immigration relief measures which include:
- A grant of re-parole.
- Expedited processing of advance parole requests
- Expedited requests for off-campus employment for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship
- Expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications
- Consideration of Fee Waivers for USCIS applications based on inability to pay
- Assistance in replacing lost or damaged immigration travel documents issued by USCIS
- Change or extension of nonimmigrant status for an individual currently in the United States
In addition to the new Nepali immigration relief measures, USCIS would like to remind U.S. citizens who wish to help by adopting Nepali children to take caution. The immigration process for adopted children abroad is not immediate. Before an adopted child may immigrate to the United States, USCIS must first determine if the child qualifies as an “orphan” according to United States immigration laws and the laws of intercountry adoptions. In addition, the U.S. adopting parents must also first prove that they are fit to adopt and have the means to take care of the adopted child. For more information about adopting children from Nepal please visit the USCIS Adopt Information: Nepal web page.