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USCIS Announces it will Accept Scanned or Copied Signatures
US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced Friday that due to the ongoing COVID-19 National Emergency that they will accept all “benefit forms and documents” with reproduced original signatures. While the announcement does not list all documents included, it specifically mentions the Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker used for filing cap-subject H-1Bs (as well as all other H-1Bs and most of the major nonimmigrant visas permitting employment). The guidance holds for paperwork dated March 21, 2020 and onward. USCIS has traditionally required an original “wet ink” signature.
USCIS makes the distinction that the signature must still be a reproduction of an original hand-written signature (as opposed to something digitally signed or with a typed signature). The reproduction must be a photocopy, scan, or fa, and the originally signed document must still be kept on file should USCIS request it later.
Although this brings USCIS into line with how the rest of the world typically does business, the change isn’t expected to last past the end of the current national emergency.