U.S. immigration agency to close Manila field office

Paterno Esmaquel II
U.S. immigration agency to close Manila field office
(UPDATED) The US embassy in Manila 'will assume responsibility for certain limited services previously provided' by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is set to close its Manila field office on July 5, as the Trump administration is seen restricting immigration to the United States.

In a statement on Thursday, June 6, the US embassy in Manila said: “USCIS will close the Manila Field Office on July 5, 2019, due to insufficient workload. USCIS will transition Forms I-407 and I-130 to domestic and electronic processing, respectively. These two form types account for approximately 65% of the office’s workload.”

In an earlier statement, the USCIS said the US embassy in Manila “will assume responsibility for certain limited services previously provided by USCIS to individuals residing in the Philippines.”

The last day the USCIS Manila field office accepted applications and petitions was May 31.

For those filing petitions for alien relatives (Form I-130), petitions can be filed “by  mail with the USCIS lockbox facility in Chicago,” said the USCIS. More filing information can be found on the Form I-130 webpage

The USCIS “is the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States.” 

The USCIS said affected individuals, who had previously been assisted by the agency’s Manila field office, can follow filing instructions here

Reuters earlier reported that this move “is the latest from an administration that has worked to limit both legal and illegal immigration since Trump took office in January 2017, including cuts to the US refugee program and heightened vetting of US visa applications.” – Rappler.com

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Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.