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USCIS Furloughs Averted Yet Delays and Backlogs are Anticipated

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that there would be no furloughs. The furloughs were scheduled to begin on August 30 and would have impacted more than 13,000 USCIS employees that made up nearly 70 percent of USCIS’s workforce. However, on August 25, 2020, USCIS officially stated that the current administrative furloughs are being avoided "as a result of unprecedented spending cuts and a steady increase in daily incoming revenue and receipts.” 


Unlike other government agencies that are federally funded, USCIS is funded by the applications fees it collects on forms submitted by immigrants seeking immigration benefits. Earlier this summer, USCIS announced fee changes, including significant fee increases and new fee structures, that will be effective on October 2, 2020.

USCIS Deputy Director for Policy Joseph Edlow stated that the furloughs were averted and that USCIS employees will continue to staff USCIS operations, “however, averting this furlough comes at a severe operational cost that will increase backlogs and wait times across the board, with no guarantee we can avoid future furloughs.”

Describing the foreseeable impacts in more detail, the USCIS Deputy Director said that the “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.”


See the USCIS News Release for additional information

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