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USCIS Budget Crisis – How will this affect your case?

September 9, 2020 Comment: 0

We at Perry and Alznauer, PC, would like all our clients to understand the USCIS budget crisis. USCIS cancelled their scheduled furlough but will be implementing “aggressive spending reduction measures,” which means processing times will take even longer than usual. The agency even stated that it may not avoid any future furloughs without the help from Congress.

Below is a detailed information provided by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).

WHAT DO WE KNOW?

In May, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) notified Congress that the agency predicted a budget shortfall for the remainder of 2020, reportedly due to a lower volume of filings received during the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency requested a $1.2 billion bailout from Congress and noted that, if it did not receive the money, it would furlough 13,000-plus people or nearly 70 percent of its workforce. Then, a congressional inquiry revealed a USCIS surplus for the fiscal year. USCIS ultimately canceled the scheduled furlough, but advised that—despite the fact that the furlough will not happen now—the agency will still institute “aggressive spending reduction measures,” which will result in increased processing times. USCIS further stated that it may not be able to avoid future furloughs without congressional intervention.

HOW DOES THIS BUDGET CRISIS AFFECT MY CASE?

USCIS indicates that its spending reduction measures will result in:

Increased processing time for all case types

Delays in receiving receipt notices, appointment notices, and other notice types from USCIS Lockboxes and Service Centers

Increased wait time for pending case inquiries with the USCIS Contact Center Increased adjudication time for adjustment of status and naturalization cases

WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Talk to your attorney to discuss strategies to ensure that you can file your case with USCIS as soon as you are eligible for the benefit, ahead of increased processing times. Understand that case processing delays may be outside of your attorney’s control.

Review the USCIS expedite criteria to determine if your case is eligible for an expedite request. Take action to hold USCIS accountable by reaching out to your members of Congress to tell them about your situation. Ask them to support the bipartisan Case Backlog and Transparency Act of 2020 (H.R. 5971) to address crisis-level delays that are crippling the agency’s case processing and financial stability.

WHAT OUR OFFICE IS DOING

We are closely monitoring the situation and encourage you to contact our office if you believe you may be impacted by this USCIS budget crisis. Please call our office Toll-Free Number (866) 201-6355 or e-mail inquiry@perryalznauer.com for more information.


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