US Visa Agency Warns About Delay In Visa Processing; Cancels Salary Cuts For 70% Employees
Mid of May, the federal agency responsible for visa and asylum processing, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requested a sum of $1.2 billion from Congress due to the budget shortfall.
The agency stated that if the Congress fails to provide it with emergency funding, it will have to furlough about 70% of its workforce, to sustain their ongoing operations through the coronavirus pandemic.
Following this information, the USCIS has now commented on Tuesday that it shall no longer furlough about 13,000 of its employees, despite there still being financial crisis in the immigration agency.
This crisis will surely dampen and slag the agency’s processing capacity, leading to longer wait times for many applicants. We shall speak more on this later in the article.
No Mass Furloughs for USCIS. What Changed?
Unlike other government agencies in the United States, the USCIS is funded through the fee amount it collects on immigration forms, green cards, citizenship and immigration other benefits.
However, COVID-19 has had a great impact on the immigration services in the U.S.
The agency reported that it registered a 50% cost drop only in the month of June, due to a steep reduction in immigration.
Joseph Edlow, the Deputy USCIS Director for Policy claimed that the reason behind USCIS to avoid any furloughs is that the financial situation has improved a little since the spring.
Despite a slight increase in the number of applications in recent weeks, Elbow comments that the agency will still experience a budget shortfall as it proceeds towards the end of this fiscal year on September 30.
How will This Affect Your Application Processes?
Along with stating that USCIS has enough funds to enter the fiscal year 2021, Eldow also warned that averting this furlough will come at the cost of a severe ‘cost-reducing’ actions.
He says that such actions will lead to:
- Increased wait times,
- Prolonged processing time for cases like citizenship applications and naturalization ceremonies,
- Limits on immigration applications,
- Increased backlogs,
And many such immigration activities.
He added, “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”.