A sign explaining the two-week closure of a USCIS field office in Tukwila, Washington on March 3. Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has delayed furloughing about 13,400 employees until August 30, spokesperson Jessica Collins said in a statement on Friday.
The big picture: The Trump administration has banned entry into the U.S. for foreigners on certain temporary work visas — including high-skilled H-1B visas — through the end of the year, Axios' Stef Kight reports.
Catch up quick: The agency says it is trying to avert a financial crisis during the pandemic by cutting non-essential spending and in May called for $1.2 billion in emergency funding from Congress.
- The agency says it would pay back congressional funds by adding a 10% surcharge to visa applications.
- The decision by USCIS leadership to delay furloughing roughly 70% of its officers is attributed to "[r]ecent assurances from Congress" and "an uptick in application and petition receipts," Collins notes.
What they're saying: “This delay is intended to allow Congress enough time to act and provide USCIS with the funding needed in order to avert the administrative furlough all together," Collins said.