USA and the UK
Thousands of staff working for United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may face being furloughed by the end of July unless Congress proceeds with emergency funds.
USCIS relies on visa and citizenship application fees, which are used to carry out its operations. However, due to the current coronavirus situation, the number of application has dropped significantly, leaving the agency in need of a government bailout.
The union that represents the USCIS staff was notified on 26th May that approximately 10,800 employees could face furloughs lasting more than 30 days. A USCIS spokesperson confirmed that furloughs are an option, but at the moment there is no further information on how many employees could be affected.
A sign indicating a US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office is closed in Tukwila, Washington [Image: Vox]
USCIS deputy director, Joseph Edlow, said: “Without intervention from Congress, USCIS will be forced to start furloughing staff from July 20th”.
In a letter to the president of the national union for agency employees Danielle Spooner, a top USCIS official mentioned that: “The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on our agency’s financial outlook.”