Individuals who are seeking refugee status and other forms of immigration help might soon experience fewer options and longer wait times. The United States government recently announced that it is considering closing dozens of its international U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offices. For those seeking asylum or hoping to make Pennsylvania their home through immigration, this could seriously complicate matters.

International USCIS offices help relieve pressure on U.S.-based offices and also provide much-needed services abroad. Despite this, the government wants to close these international offices in order to save money in its budget. The projected closures could potentially save millions of dollars every year.

Not everyone is pleased with the potential money-saving closures. Opponents of the move point out that it will severely impact refugee processing and petitions for family reunifications. A spokeswoman from the USCIS said that other international offices, including U.S. embassies and international consulates, could possibly take on the workload from the closed immigration offices. It is not clear if there is a plan for this yet or if immigration experts would be staffed at these locations.

The international offices for USCIS provide essential services for those who are seeking asylum, trying to achieve refugee status and looking for general immigration help. Closing these offices could have profound impact on people in international communities who hope to immigrate and make Pennsylvania their home. This can make seeking help for filling out applications even more important, as an experienced attorney can generally explain any aspects of the process that might seem overwhelming or confusing.