According to published reports, the Department of State (“DOS”) has warned that sequestration-related spending cuts could result in “major setbacks” for visa processing and travel screening delays at ports of entry.
A DOS spokesman said it was “fairly certain” that sequestration would reduce the number of officers who process visas in U.S. consulates worldwide, resulting in processing delays of immeasurable length.
Prior to sequestration, the DOS had experienced a surge in hiring within the visa adjudications field, which was helping to eliminate a logjam of travel-related applications that was reducing economically beneficial visits and exchanges with the U.S.
It is expected that Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) will also be making cuts in staffing at U.S. ports of entry. No cuts to anti-terrorism programs will be made, but fewer airport and seaport screeners, and border agents will likely mean more travel delays for people who are leaving and entering the country.
CBP reported that travelers could experience as much as 50 percent increases in wait times at major airports or other points of entry, noting that both domestic and international travel would be impacted.
People coming into the country by car or on foot will also likely face delays in screening and processing as well.
As always, the Law Office of Ronald Shapiro, Esq. stands ready to serve those in need of immigration assistance. Please call us at (847) 564-0712 to speak with an experienced and qualified immigration attorney and/or check out our immigration law Website for more information about how we might assist you.