In an announcement on 9th August, the USCIS has stated that it will be shutting down 13 of its overseas field offices, along with three district offices as well.
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services will maintain operation in 7 overseas offices. For the remaining, the operations will close down between now and August 2020.
The first overseas offices to be closed would be Seoul in South Korea and Monterrey in Mexico. These offices will shut down by September this year.
The following 7 overseas offices will continue their operation:
The decision to close overseas offices was made to better allocate USCIS resources. This will also help reduce the backlog situation, as per USCIS News.
Ken Cuccinelli, Acting Director of USCIS, said that the closure of overseas offices will happen on a staggered schedule. It will help transition the workload to domestic offices and State Dept. Consular Sections in the US smoothly. It will also reduce the impact on the USCIS staff who will go back to domestic positions.
Most of the functions handled in overseas offices will now be handled by USCIS domestic staff who are abroad on a temporary assignment. To make the transition smoother the DOS (Dept. of State) will take onus for some in-person services that the USCIS provided at overseas offices. The DOS already performs these functions in countries where the USCIS does not have an office.
The USCIS is currently working closely with DOS to ensure there are no interruptions in any immigration services which could affect applicants and petitioners.
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