Regime change affects individuals in a wide variety of ways. For Egyptian expats living in the US watching their country’s government unravel from thousands of miles away, their thoughts are consumed with the safety of their loved ones and concerns over the future of their country, but there may also be more practical concerns. For nonimmigrants with Visas about to expire, it may be a concern over whether they’ll be able to stay in the US a little longer until the situation back home improves. Some individuals may wish to return to Egypt to take part in the historic events unfolding there, but are unable to because of laws preventing asylees from returning to their home country. And still some may be trying to get loved ones out because they fear the instability will increase.
While USCIS has yet to issue any specific guidelines on how the situation in Egypt will affect its handling of cases involving Egyptian nationals, there are a variety of ways USCIS & the Department of State can assist individuals on a case-by-case basis including a simple visitor visa extension, expediting applications, allowing cases to be processed in other countries, and issuing emergency visas people at risk. Unless the situation in Egypt worsens, it is unlikely the US will declare it a country eligible for Temporary Protected Status, but even short of that USCIS should begin looking at ways to help ensure the safety of not only US nationals in Egypt, but of all those whom they have the power to help during this crisis.