Service citizenship and immigration reduce U.S. presence abroad

Service citizenship and immigration USA (U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services — USCIS) plans to significantly reduce its presence abroad.

According to an internal email, obtained by Reuters, the Agency decided to close overseas offices of the Department on issues of refugees and international operations (Refugee Asylum and International Operations).

The closure will happen over the next year, some of the tasks of the offices are likely to be transferred to the State Department, as reported by news Agency staff USCIS on condition of anonymity. According to them, the decision caught some officials by surprise.

USCIS Director Lee Francis Cissna today, March 12, sent to all employees stating that the Agency is preparing to transfer a greater portion of the international workload of the American office for internal processing, as well as to the embassies and U.S. consulates abroad.

«Changes can lead to significant difficulties,» writes Cessna, promising that the Agency will try to «smooth transition».

In locations where USCIS has no overseas offices, the state Department already performs some of the duties of the immigration office, for example, grants a green card for permanent residents of the U.S. who lost them.

«The purpose of the changes is to increase the resources of the USCIS, which then could be reallocated,» said the press Secretary of the service Jessica Collins.

The Agency will work closely with Gosdepartamenta and the Ministry of internal security, «so as not to interrupt the provision of immigration services to affected applicants and petitioners,» said Collins.

In the past USCIS had already closed some offices depending on the demand for their services. For example, in February, the service permanently closed the office in Moscow from-for «a significant reduction in workload».