U.S. to shut down international immigration offices

L. Francis Cissna, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, told staff in an email March 12 that the agency hopes to close all of its overseas offices. (Salwan Georges/The Washington Post)

U.S. Customs and Immigration Services reportedly told its staff Tuesday that it would shut down all 21 of its foreign offices by the end of this year.

The move could delay processing of paperwork the offices handle, including family visa applications, foreign adoptions by U.S. citizens, and citizenship petitions from members of the military. The offices also investigate visa fraud.

The employees who provide these services will likely be transferred to the State Department as the offices are shuttered, USCIS Director Lee Francis Cissna said in an email to staff obtained by The Washington Post.

Relocating international employees to U.S. offices and foreign embassies will help “address backlogs in the United States,” Cissna wrote.

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