USCIS recently announced that it would be closing its overseas offices, most of which are located in Latin America, Europe, and Asia. The move came seemingly out of the blue, and opinions differ on its intended effect.
USCIS’ international offices typically handle immigrant visas, the processing of refugee applications, some citizenship applications for overseas individuals or military members, and international adoptions. Purportedly, these tasks will be re-allocated within USCIS or shifted to the Department of State.
Some believe this shift is yet another example of President Donald Trump’s hostility toward immigration – both legal and illegal – as it makes certain processes, like the refugee process, more difficult. Others believe that the closure of the overseas offices will mean more resources for USCIS domestically, which will result in shorter processing times. While we hope that shorter processing times are in the future, we’ll believe it when we see it.