MANILA – The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services will permanently close its field office in Manila beginning July 5, a move seen to be in line with the Trump administration's plan to reduce its presence abroad and limit both legal and illegal immigration.
In a statement, the USCIS Manila field office said it began redirecting Forms I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, to the USCIS Lockbox on May 14, 2019.
The filing of this form is the first step taken by lawful permanent US residents to help a relative immigrate to the United States.
“The U.S. Embassy in Manila will assume responsibility for certain limited services previously provided by USCIS to individuals residing in the Philippines,” it said.
The USCIS also listed on its website the filing instructions for individuals who were previously assisted by its Manila office.
The USCIS offices carry out a number of services, including helping Americans who want to bring relatives to the United States, processing refugee applications, enabling overseas citizenship applications and assisting US citizens who want to adopt foreign children.
USCIS officers abroad also look for fraud in visa applications and provide technical immigration advice to other US government officials.
USCIS has in the past decided to close individual offices based on demand for its services. The agency previously announced that its Moscow field office will permanently close at the end of March, citing a "significant decrease in workload." – with Reuters