Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic, Travel Restrictions to the US and now a new virus from swine, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has notified Congress of a massive projected budget shortfall that is threatening the Agency’s operations and the financial well-being of thousands of USCIS employees. USCIS, which is primarily funded by application fees, has requested a $1.2 billion dollar bailout from Congress to keep the Agency afloat.
USCIS plans to impose a 10% surcharge on most immigration-related applications and petitions to pay the funding back. Without this funding, USCIS claims that it will not have sufficient funds to maintain its operations through the end of the fiscal year, nor to fund its operations during the first quarter of FY2021. USCIS has begun issuing furlough notices to its employees and anticipates that the Agency will need to administratively furlough approximately 13,400 employees starting August 3rd if the Agency does not receive funding from Congress.
Employees may remain furloughed until October 1st, 2020. Although USCIS claims that its budget shortfall is caused by the coronavirus pandemic; in reality, the Agency’s shortfall is largely due to the Agency’s own fiscal mismanagement for counterproductive policies such as interviewing all cases, issuing RFE documents for information already in the Agency’s possession and for failing to re-use such biometric data.
David Nachman, Esq., one of the managing attorney‘s at the Ridgewood, NJ Office of the Nachman Phulwani Zimovcak (NPZ) Law Group stated: “The potential for more delays in the US immigration law process is likely to be the logical outcome of this financial shortfall of the USCIS”. He goes on to state that “the ripple-effects of the financial crisis are deep-rooted in pretextual political motives aimed at placing a choke-hold on the US Immigration Law process which are likely to send individuals who are highly skilled to other countries leaving the United States at a globally competitive disadvantage”.
Nachman goes on to point out that The NPZ Law Group, which has a Canadian immigration lawyer on staff has seen a tremendous uptick in interest in the Canadian immigration law function. Also, the office has received numerous inquiries with regard to immigration to countries such as Australia, the UK, and other Schengen countries. It is inevitable that stringent US immigration law policies are going to continue to deter the “best and brightest“ from coming to the United States.
Strap yourselves in for what is going to be a very wild ride this summer. The November election is rapidly approaching! We remind our readers that we are US and Canadian Immigration Lawyers. We look forward to being able to assist you, your family, your friends, etc. with their immigration and nationality law issues. We can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or we can always be reached by telephone at 201-670-0006 (x100).