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USCIS avoids furlough of 70% of the agency workforce

By Dev Banad Viswanath, Esq.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that the agency will avoid an administrative furlough of more than 13,000 employees, as a result of unprecedented spending cuts and a steady decrease in daily incoming revenue.

The agency believes that it can maintain operations through the end of fiscal year 2020, which ends September 30, 2020. The spending cut measures will affect agency operations, including naturalizations, and other USCIS related matters.

Society and stakeholders can expect significant backlogs and processing  delays due to the  budget cuts, and it is this attorney’s estimation  that increased problems  due to financial constraints will certainly  occur.

USCIS has stated that without congressional help with funding throughout fiscal year 2021, which begins October 1, 2020, the agency will again face dire  circumstances.

The aforementioned cost savings come through the descoping of federal contracts that assist USCIS adjudicators in processing and preparing case files as well as a myriad of other support activities.

Anticipated operational impacts include increased wait times for pending case inquiries with the USCIS Contact Center, longer case processing times, and increased adjudication time for aliens adjusting status or naturalizing. Naturalization ceremonies will continue but applicants  should expect  longer than previously expected wait times.

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