US Citizenship and Immigration Halts Operations in Manila

The United States of America (USA) is one of the many countries where Filipinos are determined to migrate to. Why? Other than the fact that it’s a first-world country, it’s also a country where everyone lucky and hardworking will be rewarded accordingly. However, since current U.S. President Donald Trump expressed his opinions on not allowing a lot of people in his country, he made specific actions to let this come to life.

US citizenship and immigration halts offices in Manila, Philippines
This image was taken from the Immigration Impact Website |

Just recently, the United States government implemented social media verification and authentication upon VISA application. Yes, now, if you are to enter the United States, you would have to provide social media information, current and previous email addresses, and phone numbers, too.

Read: Filipino Workers Approved for Working Visas in Guam

Now, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Center in the Philippines will close their offices and halt operations indefinitely. They will be closing starting the 5th of July, 2019.

Why did the US Immigration closed their offices in Manila?

Going back to the idea of Trump controlling immigration in his country, a lot of people come up to the conclusion that this is the reason why. Many critics see this to be a substandard move to abide by the goals of the Trump Administration—one of which is to decrease the presence of the United States overseas.

Overall, what he and his Administration ants is to limit and control the legal and illegal immigration happening inside the country.

Read: Digital Services Tax or Facebook Tax, to be Imposed by New Zealand

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Manila made a statement that the field office started to redirect Forms I to 130, to the Lockbox back on the 14th of May, 2019. In addition to that, the petition for Alien Relative also went to the same box on that very date as well.

Quite a bold move, one may say. As the US Citizenship and Immigration halts their operations. Even up until this date, a lot of Filipinos hope to live and settle in the United States; may it be for their families or those who just want to start a new life, closing the US citizenship and immigration services would be a definite hinder to those who look forward to that.

What is the petition for alien relative form?

If a relative or a family member, who is currently residing in the United States decide to absorb someone, a family in the Philippines, the petition for alien relative form is the very first step in making this happen.

Since the operations of the US citizenship and immigration halts, doing so would be a difficult and a tedious job.

Read: How to set an Appointment for US Visa application

As per the USCIS, the Manila-based U.S. embassy will still be responsible for some services they’ve provided to people residing here in the Philippines.

The U.S. Embassy in Manila will assume responsibility for certain limited services previously provided by USCIS to individuals residing in the Philippines.”

What will people do now if they want to file a petition?

In the website of the USCIS, they listed the instructions on how people will continue with their plans even after the US citizenship and immigration halts operations. You can find the instructions here.

Some of the services that the USCIS provide are:

  • They give aid to people to process refugee applications
  • Help Americans who want to bring relatives to the United States
  • Assist United States citizens who want to adopt foreign citizens/children
  • They help enable overseas citizenship application

Those are some of the highlights of what the USCIS does and operate on. Without the USCIS, all of these won’t be possible anymore.

As you can see, it’s not just the Filipinos who will be affected by this change; Americans who are here in the Philippines will also be impacted.

Overseas, USCIS officers who are on duty also try and locate fraud in VISA applications as well as give technical advice, immigration-wise to other United States government officials, if deemed necessary.

Read: Canada Speeds Up Visa Applications of Filipinos Affected by Yolanda

Since the USCIS is under the wing of the US Department of Homeland Security, they really would follow orders and would face repercussions if they get caught not obeying commands.

What do you think about the fact that the US citizenship and immigration services halts their operations? Would this help the US control immigration in their country? Or would just be a pain in the neck for a lot of people who look forward to live in the United States?

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