Learn more. 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. This provides plenty of time to coordinate an effective RFE response. Well, as it turns, the agency is facing a furlough due to Covid. 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. It does seem that way. 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 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. (Always check the USCIS website for updates.) The same is true for RFE responses. 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. 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? Latecomers may not be responded to until mid-2021. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will furlough you for more than 30 continuous calendar days, in a non-duty and non-pay … 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. It does seem that way. The furlough of approximately 13,400 USCIS employees is likely to have an enormous negative impact on […] By submitting this form, you agree and understand that all information contained in this appointment form will be kept STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL and will not be released without your permission; also, that submission or having a consultation with any of our attorneys does not establish an attorney-client relationship. 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. USCIS had previously pushed back the anticipated furlough in August and now has cancelled it altogether, with the expectation of being able to maintain operations through the end of fiscal year 2020. Furlough means – temporarily not going to report to work or get paid, but still retaining benefits. 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. U.S. 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. Category: Updates, In view of the coronavirus surge in California and the mandatory stay at…, Posted on December 22, 2020. But how long will this furlough be? But this can invite trouble. She represents clients in various industries so that US employers can obtain the talent they need when they need it. 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. So, USCIS seems to be in trouble this year. USCIS employees recently received a notice that around 2/3 of their staff are to be furloughed by August 30 of this year. The decision temporarily averts a major slowdown of the U.S. immigration system. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on August 25 that it will abandon plans to furlough roughly two-thirds of its workforce due to a budget shortfall. Cost Cutting Measures Means Fewer Contractors and Processing Delays 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. It maintains itself with fees. The USCIS employees were given notice that the agency will furlough employees without pay until further notice. What a USCIS furlough would mean for employers and foreign nationals. If USCIS fails to address the grave budget shortfall, the situation would get worse. You do not offer information. Sens. “Our workforce is the backbone of every USCIS accomplishment. It comes down to three things: be quick, be effective, and think like a litigator. 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. The agency was seeking $1.2 billion in emergency funding from the Congress to continue operations, failing which, it had planned to furlough … The deadline for the furloughs beginning to happen is August 3rd. Update on USCIS Budget: Furlough of Staff Averted But Delays Still Projected In May, U.S. It is unknown at this time whether the House bill will succeed in passing through the full Congress in order to become law. Furloughs will likely impact processing times, resulting in an applications and petitions taking much longer to be adjudicated. 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. We appreciate you acting as civil servants, persevering to do your jobs even as furloughs have been… 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. Update August 26, 2020: USCIS has called off the scheduled furlough. This can be a mistake—there’s no need to buttress the evidence on issues USCIS didn’t challenge in the RFE! Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will furlough you for more than 30 continuous calendar days, in a non-duty and non-pay status, for fewer than 90 days, beginning August 3, 2020,” reads a furlough notice sent on June 29. If Congress does not pass emergency funding, U.S. Additionally, USCIS already alerted the federal union of the looming furloughs. Interviews of visa applicants before immigration offices will also be delayed if not suspended during the furlough. Even though the furlough has been averted through the end of September, people with current applications and petitions under review with USCIS should still expect delays in the process, as the USCIS may be forced to divert resources within their daily operations. Citizenship and Immigration Service staff for up to 3 months . Beginning in April, the Trump administration postponed asylum hearings for immigrants and froze the issuance of a broad range of visas, citing the need to protect American jobs. They say USCIS has enough carryover funds to avoid furloughs at the end of the month. The furlough of approximately 13,400 USCIS employees is likely to have an enormous negative impact on […] The USCIS already has issued furlough notices and plans to shut down operations within 30 days, unless Congress sends it about $1.1 billion. But for this specific year, USCIS claims that because of COVID-19, there were less revenues received resulting in a budget shortfall. Citizenship and Immigration Services to furlough more than two-thirds of its work force. 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. It is expected that about two-thirds of the USCIS employees will be furloughed until America reopens for immigrants. Aggressive spending reduction measures will impact all agency operations, including naturalizations, and will drastically impact agency contracts. He asked USCIS to reconsider its decision to furlough the 13,400 employees. 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. In the meantime, USCIS furloughs on August 30 remain a possibility. Unless Congress steps in, 13,400 employees will be furloughed, including my husband. 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. Category: Updates, The new citizenship civic and history test that was recently released and became…, The Department of State suspended routine visa services worldwide in March 2020 due…, The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was established to provide temporary…, What USCIS Employees’ Furlough Mean to Visa Applicants, Site by Pixelhub - Custom Web Design and Development, FAQs on the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act. The union that represents thousands of USCIS staff was notified on 26 May that approximately 10,800 bargaining employees could face furloughs lasting more than 30 days, according to a letter obtained by CBS News. That will negatively impact all sorts of cases. USCIS has just re-opened CAP, meaning there are additional H-1B visa slots at stake. Copyright - 2020 Park Firm | All Rights Reserved Privacy and Data Protection Policy, Are USCIS Furloughs Still Coming? 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 … If Congress does not pass emergency funding, U.S. While I also know that some businesses are of the mindset that premium processing just means that an RFE comes more quickly (given the rise in RFEs in 2019), it’s still important to understand the business immigration landscape in 2020 before dismissing the idea of premium processing a case because it may lead to an RFE. A lot of attorneys, especially those who cut their business immigration teeth in the Trump era, have a tendency to pull out all the stops on the RFE response. It’s going to be at least 30 days, but the USCIS may … furlough definition: 1. a period of time that a soldier, worker, or prisoner is allowed to be absent, especially to…. 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. Employees will receive a 30-day “reduction-in-force” (RIF) notice by July 2 for the furlough to begin August 3, but the the USCIS will likely extend the furlough in 30-day increments until Congress approves a $1.2 billion cash injection. Senator Patrick Leahy, Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations tweeted on August 18, 2020 that USCIS has sufficient funds to avoid furloughs. A chat with Lynn O’Brien. A $1.2 billion shortfall could mean furlough of 13,000 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 … In less than a week, U.S. 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. 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. It 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 agency running. 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. 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. What Happens Now to H-1B and Other Processing Times? As a reminder, FY2020 ends on September 30, 2020, so the reprieve is temporary. The Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act and What USCIS Furloughs Could Mean for U.S. The U.S. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) made a similar argument to the agency, as well. It will take an act of Congress for employees to receive back pay. 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. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) says it will have to furlough staff from July 20 if Congress fails to provide funding. Posted on December 23, 2020. Personal note: it seems to me that USCIS … The agency was requesting Congress for a $1.2 billion bailout through the coronavirus emergency package which unfortunately was never passed into law. The U.S. agency in charge of processing immigration applications said on Wednesday it was preparing to furlough nearly 70% of its workforce unless it received fresh funding, a move employees say could bring an already backlogged system to a virtual halt. 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. Without additional funding from Congress before August 3, USCIS has no choice but to administratively furlough a substantial portion of our workforce," the statement said. 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. So that’s why I tell my colleagues to pretend they are defense counsel with these challenges: less is more, only answer questions USCIS asks! However, that doesn’t mean AILA should take the pressure off to ensure that Congress hold USCIS … What I mean is, when preparing the different components of the response package, keep as much as you can in-house. For this post, Park sat down with Lynn O’Brien, Senior Associate Attorney at Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP, to discuss the best practices firms can apply this year to accelerate processing times. 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. USCIS has just made an announcement to its staff and external stakeholders that the administrative staff furlough which was scheduled to begin on August 30, 2020 has been cancelled and the current USCIS staffing levels would remain unchanged. But for this specific […] Think like a litigator: The expert opinion letter brings me to my next point. Beginning August 31, 2020, USCIS will operate with only one-third of its usual staff. 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. And, if that were to happen, would premium processing remain available? Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) employees will receive notice of administrative furlough … Federal agencies are required by law to give employees 30 days of advance notice in writing before the expected date of a furlough. You will receive information of next steps once this form is submitted. Citizenship and Immigration Services offices nationwide. 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! USCIS has just re-opened CAP, meaning there are additional H-1B visa slots at stake. In … 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. USCIS said furloughs would begin on Aug. 3. 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