Politico.com reported on March 12 that USCIS had plans to close all international field offices. The agency is currently in preliminary discussions to transfer the workload of the international offices to the domestic offices and the State Department. The reasoning given was so more staff can be on hand to clear the immigration backlogs in the U.S.
USCIS currently has 23 field offices around the world in Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Announcements for closure in the Cuban office and the Moscow office has already been made earlier this year. These offices are staffed by about 70 USCIS officers, who will all return to the United States if these offices are closed. International field offices provide many useful services such as assisting U.S. citizens who wish to bring relatives to the U.S., handling asylum cases, and aiding U.S. citizens who seeks to adopt a child internationally. The office in South Korea, for example, accepts applications for travel documents, fiancé visas, producing naturalization certificates, and conducting biometrics for family immigration applicants and asylum and humanitarian cases. USCIS has argued that since the State Department handles most of the visa applications in consulates and embassies, removing these offices will have little to no effect on the applicants. The process to remove these offices are still being discussed, a final decision has not been made as of yet.
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