IMPACT – MEDIUM
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is in the process of restructuring its U.S.-based district offices and field offices.
The agency will be reducing the number of district offices, thereby allowing the workload to be reassigned and shared equally among the field offices. As a result, green card and naturalization applicants may need to travel farther than their normal jurisdiction to attend their interviews. Additionally, they may receive other notices, such as requests for evidence, from a field office other than where they filed. Biometrics appointments, however, will not be affected and applicants will continue to go to their nearest application support center.
The agency said that the changes are meant to decrease processing times and make them more consistent among different field offices, as the volume of work has increased sharply in recent years. The number of applications received rose 15.6% from fiscal year 2016 to 2017, and 25.5% from fiscal 2015 to 2016, according to the agency.
BAL Analysis: The restructuring should even out workloads among field offices so that wait times for green card and naturalization interviews decrease overall. However, applicants should take special note of the interview location on their appointment notice and be prepared to travel if it is scheduled outside their normal jurisdiction.
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