USCIS announced on Friday that it has delayed it planned furlough of 70% of its employees for another month until August 31. USCIS wants to give Congress more time to act on the agency’s $1.2 billion emergency funding request. Since March, USCIS has seen a 50% drop in receipts and incoming fees and estimates that application and petition receipts will drop about 60% through the end of fiscal year 2020. Unless the agency receives additional funding from Congress, USCIS cannot continue to work at full capacity and will furlough its employees on starting on August 3.
USCIS is a for profit agency that uses application fees to fund the agency and its employees. At the current moment, there are approximately 20,000 USCIS officers that process and review visa and immigration applications. If 70% are furloughed, less than 6,600 agents will remain working at the agency. If Congress does not provide additional funding and the furlough happens, visa applicants should expect longer wait times for receipt and application processing as significantly less agents will be working to review applications.
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