USCIS to Shut its International Offices
Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) July 5, 2019 – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is planning to shut all 23 of its international offices by 2020. The Trump Administration has scheduled several target dates for the closures starting June 30, 2019 for offices with minimal workloads.
The agency’s international offices are located in 20 countries around the world. USCIS said there were plans to allocate the workload of the foreign stations to the U.S. State Department as well as other agencies to avoid interruptions in service.
USCIS anticipate the closures will help maximize resources and free up millions of dollars annually to help USCIS deal with growing domestic backlogs. It does not expect the closures to have any impact on refugee processing.
“According to USCIS, its international mission includes ‘reuniting families, enabling adoptive children to come to join permanent families in the U.S., considering parole requests from individuals outside the U.S. for humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.’ Many of its fee-paying payors are U.S. citizens,” said Stewart Rabinowitz of the Dallas and Frisco law firm of Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C. “Dislocating all of these services and farming them out to other agencies including the Department of State demonstrates the Administration’s continued degradation of ‘immigration’ to ‘what’s the cheapest way we can do this minimally,’ not how we can better provide these services to stakeholders. The interruption of service is almost a certainty.”
The first USCIS office slated to permanently close is located in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, followed by the Manila office on July 4, 2019. September 2019 will see the closures of international offices in Monterrey, Mexico, and Seoul, South Korea.
The majority of international offices are scheduled to close by the end of January 2020, including those located in Athens, Guatemala City, London and Mexico City. The remaining USCIS offices abroad are expected to cease operations by March 10, 2020.