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US Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”), the federal agency responsible for visa and asylum processing, is expected to furlough part of its workforce this summer if Congress doesn't provide emergency funding to sustain operations during the coronavirus pandemic.

Officials at USCIS, a fee-funded agency, told employees last month that a significant drop off in application receipts due to the novel coronavirus pandemic has led to an unexpected loss in revenue, potentially leaving the agency unable to meet payroll. USCIS is asking Congress for a $1.2 billion cash injection to help offset the losses and permission for a 10% increase its fees to reimburse the appropriation.

The furlough notices are expected throughout the ranks of USCIS, the employees with knowledge of the process said. Management officials have been instructed to determine which employees are necessary to continue functioning at 25% capacity. Management has estimated it will run out of funds to operate normally on July 20 and will begin notifying employees 30 days prior to that date as required by law. The furloughs are not expected to all begin on that date.

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