Hurricane Maria, the latest in a string of powerful Caribbean storms, struck Puerto Rico Wednesday and continued to move its way north.
- USCIS has closed field offices and application support centers in San Juan, Puerto Rico and on St. Thomas and St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands pending further notice. An up-to-date list of all USCIS closings is available on this website.
- Visa applicants with appointments at offices that are closed are reminded that some appointments are automatically rescheduled, while others must be rescheduled by the applicant. Generally, appointments for interviews and for biometrics are automatically rebooked, but InfoPass or other appointments must be rescheduled by the applicant. Information about how to reschedule appointments is available on this USCIS website.
- The U.S. State Department, meantime, issued an emergency alert, warning against travel to areas affected by the hurricane, including Guadeloupe, St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, Saba, St. Eustatius, the British Virgin Islands, St. Maarten, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, Anguilla, Turks and Caicos Islands, and The Bahamas. The department urged those in impacted areas who are safe after the hurricane passes to “contact their loved ones directly and/or update their social media status.” The full statement is available on this State Department site.
BAL Analysis: Hurricane Maria reportedly knocked out power across Puerto Rico and threatened to flood areas of Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and other Caribbean islands. Employers may wish to take steps to account for the safety of any employees in areas hit by the hurricane.