Prior to Covid-19, USCIS required original signatures on most USCIS forms, making the visa submission process sometimes more lengthy if both a client and attorney or both the employer and employee had to sign the forms and then mail the signed originals to USCIS.
On March 20, 2020, due to Covid-19 global pandemic, USCIS announced , that it will accept all USCIS forms and documents (such as for example an Employer letter for an H1b visa) with reproduced original signatures.
Reproduced original signature does not mean electronic signature. Reproduced original signature means that 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.
This change was welcomed by immigration practitioners, as clients no longer had to mail the originally signed pages to the attorneys, and could just sign and scan the documents, making the visa submission process much faster.
In July 2022, USCIS announced that the policy of accepting reproduced signatures will become permanent. This is a great news welcomed by all immigration practitioners as it will help to make the visa submission process faster and smoother both for clients and attorneys.
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