The Impact on USCIS from Covid-19

Recently, we have noticed many changes and many delays in our everyday lives due to the pandemic Covid-19. But exactly how much has this pandemic affected people with immigration cases. In March 2020, United States announced the shelter in place order for everyone which meant many stores, restaurants including immigration services would be closed in which created a major delay in many individuals’ cases.

USCIS recently announced that as of June 2020, they would begin reopening their service centers and scheduling people for biometrics, interviews, oath ceremonies and courts. We have slowly began seeing a progress. Recently, USCIS announced that in California people who were due to do their oath ceremonies would be held in the form of a drive though to follow the proper health protocols.

However, it is still very obvious USCIS is struggling to catch up with all the immigration cases. In a recent article published by Immigration Impact, “the agency receives most of its funds through the fees people pay for immigration benefits and has said that its funding dried up when USCIS offices were closed to the public”, which means because USCIS was closed for three months they were unable to pay their staff and had to furlough many. Which resulted in a backlog of services. If USCIS comes to another halt and lets go of employees, many will have potentially face an even longer wait for their oath ceremonies; something many are not looking forward too.

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