The USCIS employees were given notice that the agency will furlough employees without pay until further notice. U.S. USCIS has just re-opened CAP, meaning there are additional H-1B visa slots at stake. She also wants you to know she can beat you at 80s music trivia. Now cuts will come from its operations. USCIS is a self-sufficient agency, meaning it does not get money from the government. As you and I have discussed, Park knows firsthand what happens when a beneficiary’s qualifications weren’t an issue before, but in reviewing the RFE, Park has seen USCIS raise issue with the professor’s analysis of the beneficiary’s academics and move to deny on that basis. Aggressive spending reduction measures will impact all agency operations, including naturalizations, and will drastically impact agency contracts. According to USA Today, notices were already sent to 13,400 USCIS employees that they will be furloughed as of August 30, 2020. Maybe before that response, USCIS didn’t see any issue with the beneficiary’s qualifications, but now that you drew attention to them, maybe USCIS will review them more carefully and then issue a NOID. The latest news is that the furlough scheduled for August 30, 2020 has been suspended because USCIS expects to be able to maintain operations through FY2020—but then what? Plunging revenue from immigration fees nearly forced U.S. However, that doesn’t mean AILA should take the pressure off to ensure that Congress hold USCIS … The agency was seeking $1.2 billion in emergency funding from the Congress to continue operations, failing which, it had planned to furlough … To take control, we are seeing businesses utilizing premium processing where available. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has warned that it faces a budget shortfall and intends to furlough 13,000 of its 18,700 staff at the end of this month. Federal law dictates that agencies must give employees 30 days notice before a furlough; by July 2 USCIS sent all its notices out, informing employees that Aug. 3 was the furlough’s target date. USCIS is an agency of about 19,000 employees that gets almost all of its funding from fees it charges - furloughs could begin in August due to disrupted cashflow. It maintains itself with fees. Interviews of visa applicants before immigration offices will also be delayed if not suspended during the furlough. Permanent residents needing to renew or replace their green cards; Applicants for employment authorization documents; DACA applicants seeking renewals of their deferred action and EADS; U.S. citizens and permanent resident petitioning their families; Applicants for adjustment of status, and. Citizenship and Immigration Services offices nationwide. USCIS claims it has a $1.2 billion budget shortfall, meaning it would have to furlough 13,400 employees and effectively bring the immigration system to a halt. The worker is still retaining his/her job as the employment will continue, but the furlough means that they are not working for their employers anymore and are not being paid. Petitioning organizations seeking H-1B and L-1 visas, which have formed the backbone of the business immigration world for several years now, are faced with doubts as to the predictability in processing of these categories in the short term. But the fee-funded agency has recently brought in $800 million more than it projected, leaving some lawmakers to say a furlough is unnecessary, with or without a bill from Congress. USCIS previously planned to begin furloughs August 3 but pushed the date to August 30 following assurances from Congress and an uptick in application and petition receipts, the agency said. Unless Congress steps in, 13,400 employees will be furloughed, including my husband. It’s going to be at least 30 days, but the USCIS may … Earlier this year the Department of Homeland Security announced plans to furlough over 13,000 employees at U.S. U.S. Some attorneys think an expert opinion letter that responds to specialty occupation and backs up the beneficiary’s qualifications for the role is best. This can be a mistake—there’s no need to buttress the evidence on issues USCIS didn’t challenge in the RFE! Latecomers may not be responded to until mid-2021. The furlough was to include more than 13, 000 employees, or approximately 70% of the USCIS … Be effective: Try not to spread responsibility for the response too far. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) employees will receive notice of administrative furlough … It maintains itself with fees. Wasting time on the RFE response will shove your application straight to the bottom of the pile, potentially missing out on a wider approval window. A potential future furlough is still in the realm of possibilities but as of now the furlough that was at to begin Aug 30 2020 is now officially cancelled. See update. The agency was requesting Congress for a $1.2 billion bailout through the coronavirus emergency package which unfortunately was never passed into law. Citizenship and Immigration Services to furlough more than two-thirds of its work force. USCIS is a fee-for-service organization, meaning it relies on the revenue it collects through work like visitor petitions and citizenship applications, for example, to keep the organization running. For instance, in H-1B applications, specialty occupation is one of the most common challenges—USCIS will say they don’t believe the position requires a Bachelor’s degree. In the meantime, USCIS furloughs on August 30 remain a possibility. Senator Patrick Leahy, Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations tweeted on August 18, 2020 that USCIS has sufficient funds to avoid furloughs. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D – Vt. just announced that USCIS has agreed to postpone the furloughs of more than 13,000 USCIS employees from August 3 until August 31. These issues may have particular implications for U.S. employees holding H-1B specialty occupation visas, as they are typically required to remain productive in order to maintain their legal status. Unless Congress steps in, 13,400 employees will be furloughed, including my husband. Citizenship and Immigration Service staff for up to 3 months . It will take an act of Congress for employees to receive back pay. It’s certainly a tough spot for employers who may not have budgeted for premium processing but who have to weigh the risks that their cases may not receive decisions when expected, or that there’s some possibility of another furlough threat. It’s no surprise that she has spoken on topics including best practices for responding to Requests For Evidence since she loves the art of arguing with the government. Learn more. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued furlough notices to 13,700 of its 20,000 employees, potentially putting as much as 73% of USCIS staff our of work temporarily. More, here. ... Furloughs, as an austerity tactic, are not uncommon; however, the pending furlough is administrative, meaning it is planned and designed by the federal government. (Always check the USCIS website for updates.) Could it just be the administration’s policy decision to suspend immigration rather than a budget issue? The Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act and What USCIS Furloughs Could Mean for U.S. Cost Cutting Measures Means Fewer Contractors and Processing Delays The USCIS already has issued furlough notices and plans to shut down operations within 30 days, unless Congress sends it about $1.1 billion. Update August 26, 2020: USCIS has called off the scheduled furlough. USCIS employs nearly 20,000 nationally, meaning the furloughs cover two-thirds of the agency’s workforce. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) alerted its federal employees that furloughs are coming July 20 because of a big budget shortfall caused by the coronavirus pandemic. And, even if you have a non-cap case, you still don’t want your case to get further down in the queue under the cap cases. USCIS employees recently received a notice that around 2/3 of their staff are to be furloughed by August 30 of this year. The furlough of approximately 13,400 USCIS employees is likely to have an enormous negative impact on […] It comes down to three things: be quick, be effective, and think like a litigator. The sponsors of the bill described the bill as a triple win, meaning that the USCIS gets additional revenue that would prevent immediate furloughs, premium processing applicants get … What a USCIS furlough would mean for employers and foreign nationals. A number of my legal colleagues outside of BAL have told me that when the going gets rough, they ask applicants and representatives of the petitioning organization to handle logistics! Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) notified Congress that the agency predicted a budget shortfall for the remainder of 2020, reportedly due to a lower volume of … A USCIS spokesperson confirmed that furloughs are an option, but refused to specify how many employees could be affected. USCIS is planning to furlough over 13,000 employees on … Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has warned that it faces a budget shortfall and intends to furlough 13,000 of its 18,700 staff at the end of this month. The latest news is that the furlough scheduled for August 30, 2020 has been suspended because USCIS expects to be able to maintain operations through FY2020—but then what? If the furlough is prolonged, after H-1B workers have used their accrued paid time off, employers are required to pay the regular H-1B salaries through the furlough period. This provides plenty of time to coordinate an effective RFE response. The U.S. Once USCIS employees are furloughed, the amount of approved applications going to NVC will dramatically decrease, which means after a few months NVC will also have to furlough their employees since their expenses will outweigh the revenue they’d normally generate through charging for … It does seem that way. In his letter to DHS, Senator Leahy said that USCIS has consistently projected that it has a carryover balance even after this fiscal year. That date was later pushed to the end of the month. The deadline for the furloughs beginning to happen is August 3rd. It is unknown at this time whether the House bill will succeed in passing through the full Congress in order to become law. But for this specific […] Getting in early and staying smart about the response—these are the best tools attorneys working in business immigration have to deliver value and confidence to their clients in this environment. The furlough will go into effect on August 3, 2020 unless Congress and the President take action to provide emergency funding for USCIS to continue operations at its present level. Most importantly, the agency is asking Congress for a loan, and not a hand-out. Update July 24, 2020: USCIS has announced that they have agreed to delay the start of the staff furlough until August 31st (from August 3) due to funding estimates showing surplus for the fiscal year and not the previously-projected $571 million deficit. Your appointment is not final until confirmed with you via call or email by Tancinco Law Offices, and until appointment fee of $150 is made via Paypal or credit card. Businesses Updated 8/27: Just days before USCIS was set to furlough over 13,000 employees, the agency announced on August 26, 2020, that it will cancel the upcoming furloughs through the end of the current fiscal year 2020. If Congress does not pass emergency funding, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services plans to furlough roughly 13,400 of its 20,000 employees due to budget shortfalls. Category: Updates, In view of the coronavirus surge in California and the mandatory stay at…, Posted on December 22, 2020. Recently, USCIS announced that it will cancel the agency’s planned furlough of more than 13,000 employees, which was scheduled to take place on August 30, 2020, to help the agency meet its budget quotas and ensure operational capacity.. On August 25 th USCIS made the announcement stating that as of now the … What Happens Now to H-1B and Other Processing Times? Update on USCIS Budget: Furlough of Staff Averted But Delays Still Projected In May, U.S. Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin maintain USCIS's fiscal problems are a direct consequence of the Trump Administration's efforts to restrict immigration. Well, as it turns, the agency is facing a furlough due to Covid. The planned furlough of 70% of USCIS workers would bring USCIS to operations to a standstill halt and leave U.S. employers, foreign workers, and families in limbo. Furloughs, as an austerity tactic, are not uncommon; however, the pending furlough is administrative, meaning it is planned and designed by the federal government. Most USCIS operation costs are taken from fees that are paid by applicants or petitioner’s. Be quick: Do not dilly-dally when preparing the RFE response! The furlough of approximately 13,400 USCIS employees is likely to have an enormous negative impact on […] Layoffs: The employer may choose to discharge or lay off the employee, in which case the employer must offer to pay for reasonable costs of return transportation abroad for the discharged/laid-off worker. If Congress does not pass emergency funding, U.S. Most USCIS operation costs are taken from fees that are paid by applicants or petitioner’s. The furlough should not impact the ability to file applications and petitions with USCIS, meaning employees can obtain protection based upon timely-filed extensions. As hurricane season heats up, many in the business immigration world are beginning to wonder if USCIS will be able to weather its own stormy outlook. USCIS claims it has a $1.2 billion budget shortfall, meaning it would have to furlough 13,400 employees and effectively bring the immigration system to a halt. But for this specific year, USCIS claims that because of COVID-19, there were less revenues received resulting in a budget shortfall. Claiming a shortage in budget, USCIS made a decision to furlough two thirds of its employees until a budget is allocated by Congress. USCIS Cancels Planned Furloughs. USCIS said furloughs would begin on Aug. 3. Businesses want to make sure their applications are at the top of the stack because at the very least, USCIS’ problems typically translate into slower processing times. That’s days after federal unemployment benefits, which provide $600 a week on top of what states pay out, are set to expire absent … That will negatively impact all sorts of cases. USCIS Ombudsman’s Office announced that the furloughs will mean that while the office will continue to take in cases, they will be severely delayed. USCIS has just re-opened CAP, meaning there are additional H-1B visa slots at stake. If USCIS fails to address the grave budget shortfall, the situation would get worse. What I mean is, when preparing the different components of the response package, keep as much as you can in-house. Wasting time on the RFE response will shove your application straight to the bottom of the pile, potentially missing out on a wider approval window. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is expected to furlough more than two-thirds of its employees beginning August 3, 2020, for at least a month and up to three months or more. In less than a week, U.S. “Our workforce is the backbone of every USCIS accomplishment. Though I may criticize your results, the very fact of working deserves credit. It does look like the biggest impact of the challenges facing the Service will be longer processing times. Copyright - 2020 Park Firm | All Rights Reserved Privacy and Data Protection Policy, Are USCIS Furloughs Still Coming? 8/25/2020 Update: USCIS Averts Furlough of Nearly 70% of Workforce I pause for a moment to thank all USCIS employees who are at work today. Sens. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is dependent on fees from new immigration applications for its … She also frequently speaks on other topics including the unpredictable immigration environment and program management issues, bringing the insider perspective from a firm devoted exclusively to corporate immigration. That last one might seem mysterious, but bear with me. This might seem like a time-saver for a swamped attorney, but trust me—it never works out when an employee or company takes over handling logistics related to obtaining an expert opinion or professor evaluation. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is expected to furlough more than two-thirds of its employees beginning August 3, 2020, for at least a month and up to three months or more. Furloughs will likely impact processing times, resulting in an applications and petitions taking much longer to be adjudicated. (Atty. In … For some clients, BAL is recommending Premium Processing of cases now, especially for any case where the employer or employee may not have time to wait several months for a decision. Posted on December 23, 2020. As a reminder, FY2020 ends on September 30, 2020, so the reprieve is temporary. But the fee-funded agency has recently brought in $800 million more than it projected, leaving some lawmakers to say a furlough is unnecessary, with or without a bill from Congress. In these dire straits, business immigration professionals have a strong incentive to accelerate processing times. Employers are facing numerous issues in light of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including remote work, temporary office closures, furloughs, and layoffs. Many of my clients received RFEs where the response is due in 87 days as expected, but, for a limited time only, USCIS is allowing an additional 60 days to respond to certain requests. It will take an act of Congress for employees to receive back pay. She is the principal and co-founder of Tancinco Law Offices and may be reached at law@tancinco.com, www.tancinco.com, facebook.com/tancincolaw, or at 1-888-930-0808). Beginning August 31, 2020, USCIS will operate with only one-third of its usual staff. USCIS cancels plans to furlough staff, that would have frozen the American immigration system 26 Aug, 2020, 12.34 PM IST. Pros to seek out the right legal Services for the response window on fees from new immigration for... It to the pros to seek out the right legal Services for the response window Congress. 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