The USCIS’ announcement explains that the furlough cancelation is “a result of unprecedented spending cuts and a steady increase in daily incoming revenue and receipts.” The COVID-19 pandemic took its toll on the USCIS, as a decrease in travel as well as President Trump’s immigration proclamation drastically decreased its services. This is often very important for companies sponsoring a candidate to change employers or filing a change of immigration status application for an existing employee. IMPORTANT UPDATE —August 25, 2020: U.S. It is hard to imagine that the USCIS will be able to stick anywhere near its current processing times for typical H1B or other status extensions, change of employer, or change of status applications. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) sent out notices to more than two-thirds of its employees that they may be furloughed, effective August 3, 2020. We will have to see but what is clear is that companies need to work with immigration counsel to address these issues and possible ramifications from immigration policy and workforce planning standpoint. Possible Mass-Furloughs at USCIS Could Severely Impact Services. Sign up with your email address to receive news and updates. For those new to working with ImmiPartner please contact us here. Congrats! Without Premium Processing, cases already take months. If such furloughs are implemented, they will have a devastating impact on the agency’s ability to provide immigration and naturalization services to American businesses and families for many months, if not years, to come. But under the Trump administration, an incredible amount of time and resources have been wasted here. Another example of a massive waste of resources by USCIS has come as a result of requiring immigration interviews for employment-based green card applications on every filing. Disclaimer: This post is not legal advice and should not substitute for obtaining legal advice. USCIS regulations require employers to pay H-1B workers in periods of mandatory company-wide furloughs. Luckily there is some relief where timely extension applications are filed as most non-immigrant visa types, including the H1B, L1, O1, TN, and others, are granted an automatic 240-day employment authorization extension as a result of a timely filing. It is true that a small group of H-4 holders can obtain work authorization but again the numbers we are looking at here are minuscule compared to the joblessness in the U.S. Boundless is constantly monitoring changes to the U.S. immigration system to help keep you informed. In the past few months, USCIS has taken action to avert a fiscal crisis, including limiting spending to salary and mission-critical activities. “T he planned USCIS furloughs are an unnecessary disaster for Vermont workers, their families, and the local economies that rely on these jobs. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas signed a bipartisan letter to USCIS on Friday saying the agency has enough money to continue current operations through the end of … Attorney services are provided by independent attorneys and are subject to a separate Attorney Agreement. Last week, the U.S. “There are already so many backlogs to work through.”. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) plans to furlough 13,400 of its nearly 20,000 employees unless Congress approves a $1.2 billion bailout by Aug. 3, a move that could cause further delays in green card and U.S. citizenship application processing. The furlough notices, which USCIS sent out earlier this month, said the unpaid time off would last for at least 30 days. HQ: 90 New Montgomery St. Suite 750, San Francisco 94105, US Immigration Solutions for Entrepreneurs, Professionals, and High-Growth Companies, Corporate Immigration, Individuals, News, L1 Visa, Webinars, H1B Visa, Corporate Immigration, Individuals, News, L1 Visa, H1B Visa. This has been done under the guise of COVID-19 but it is worth noting that the unemployment rate in technology jobs, which make up about two-thirds of all H1B roles, is around 4%. “Well right now I’m supposedly one step away from becoming a U.S. citizen,” said Martha, an immigrant […] So what are the practical implications of the expected USCIS furlough of two-thirds of its entire workforce, over 13,000 employees? Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is:. Senators are asking DHS and USCIS to take immediate action to save USCIS employees from such furloughs. U.S. For example, employers must notify the universities of F-1 workers who have STEM OPT work authorization if their training plans change significantly. Feel free to reach out to speak with experienced corporate immigration counsel to understand how you can prepare for what might come to bear. This will certainly increase the total processing time for various types of applications. The USCIS has announced its intention to furlough 13,400 staff members at the end of August. USCIS confirmed that its planned furlough of 70% of its workforce (13,400 employees) will be postponed at least until the end of August. USCIS to Furlough Staff Posted by Frank Gogol. Blank immigration forms with written instructions, including for spousal visas, are available for free at the USCIS website. Also, how does limiting the entry of dependent H4, L2, and J spouses and children help the availability of jobs to U.S. Citizens and others in the workforce who do not need immigration-related work authorization? U.S. In compliance with an order of a United States District Court, effective December 7, 2020, U.S. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, USCIS has seen a 50% drop in receipts and incoming fees starting in March and estimates that application and petition receipts will stay well below plan through the end of Fiscal Year 2020. Also, will the USCIS turn to greatly increasing filing fees? These are but a few questions that will certainly be litigated in the near future. If an employer furloughs a worker in a visa category that does not have a prevailing wage requirement, additional action may still be needed. "At this time, we do not have the number of … While this is welcome news, USCIS has also announced that it will be making "drastic cuts" that will impact agency operations until Congress is able to provide a long-term fix to its budget crisis. There are numerous statistics proving this out from dramatic increases in requests for evidence from the USCIS, to a large increase in denial rates, all occurring without any official regulatory changes in adjudication standards or eligibility requirements. In a time where the business community is already struggling to find solid ground under COVID-19, Trump’s Immigration Executive Orders, and the current economic climate, this is just another burden to carry with real-world implications. The USCIS, on June 25, provided a statement regarding the financial turmoil it is experiencing. In one of the Trump administration’s latest moves, arguably outside of its executive powers, it released a June 22, 2020, Immigration Executive Order impacting the entry of H, L, and J visa holders. If Congress doesn’t approve the bailout, the furlough could last for three months or longer, according to one report. 01, 2020 PUBLISHED 5:21 PM EDT Jul. He is one of the 13,400 USCIS employees who has received a furlough notice, scheduled to go into effect August 3, 2020, for a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of 90. Whether the Trump administration is actually delighting in the idea of USCIS being gutted or whether they truly wish to do whatever is in their power to keep the lights on this furlough, even if just for the initial 30 days as suggested, this will have an impact on U.S. business and international visa holder employees. USCIS Furloughs Could Impact Eligible Naturalized Citizens' Ability to Vote By Jesse Canales Nationwide PUBLISHED 5:21 PM ET Jul. USCIS derives almost all of its revenue from immigration fees, but the coronavirus pandemic and economic crisis has led to a 50 percent drop in revenue since USCIS closed its offices in March, an agency spokesperson said in a statement. The USCIS was formed in 2003, alongside Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP).