The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services’s (USCIS) director, Ken Cuccinelli, announced on August 9, 2019 that agency will close all of its international field offices except for seven. Currently, USCIS has 20 field offices worldwide, including in major cities such as London, Seoul and Frankfurt. The only remaining offices will be in Beijing, Guangzhou, Guatemala City, Mexico City, Nairobi, New Delhi, and San Salvador.
USCIS stated that after a cost analysis last year, it had decided that shutting down a majority of its international offices would save millions of dollars annually and improve its efficiency and effectiveness. However, reducing USCIS’s international field offices may likely cause delays for the adjudication of I-130 petitions that allow U.S. citizens and green card holders to sponsor noncitizens for their own green cards. Currently, the I-130 process takes about one month at the international field offices. With the international field office closures, it is possible that the process would take anywhere from six months to two years.
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