A leaked staff email from the director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) details new plans to close all USCIS international field offices. According to the USCIS, there are 24 International Operations Division (IO) field offices in 21 countries, including two offices in China. The mission of the IO field offices is to provide helpful information for a variety of immigration-related questions, to solve a variety of immigration-related problems, and to investigate immigration fraud.
The USCIS details the function of the IO offices on its website.
The International Operations Division (IO) is the component of USCIS’ Refugee, Asylum, and International Operations Directorate (RAIO) that is charged with advancing the USCIS mission in the international arena. Reuniting families, enabling adoptive children to come to join permanent families in the U.S., considering parole requests from individuals outside the U.S. for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit, and providing information services and travel documents to people around the world – all with unique needs and circumstances – are just a few of the responsibilities our officers assume on a daily basis. Operating in a dynamic global environment with constantly changing political, cultural, environmental, and socio-economic contexts, IO has approximately 240 employees located in the U.S. and in three international districts composed of 24 field offices in 21 countries. Our employees are highly diverse and include foreign nationals in addition to U.S. citizens; foreign nationals make up more than half of the IO staff working abroad and approximately one-third of all IO employees.
According to the leaked email, the workload of the IO offices would shift to embassies, consulates, and offices in the United States. It is not know if or how this change would affect the current mission of these offices.
See the full news story here. This story is likely to be updated as more information becomes available.
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