The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will avert the anticipated furlough of more than 13,000 employees, which was scheduled to begin August 30. The agency avoided this furlough owing to spending cuts and a steady increase in its incoming revenues. The USCIS expects to be able to maintain operations through the end of fiscal year 2020., i.e. at least until September 30, 2020.
Employers and foreign nationals should expect longer case processing times, increased wait times for pending case inquiries with the USCIS Contact Center and delays in adjudication of adjustment of status or naturalization cases. The agency also states that a return to normal operating procedures will require congressional intervention to sustain the agency through FY 2021.
Employers and individuals should timely file their petitions, RFEs and other applications. Employers are encouraged to budget for and consider availing premium processing service for urgent and priority cases so as to avoid the uncertain and lengthy processing times.