U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will permanently close its field office in Athens, Greece, on November 15, according to an announcement on the U.S. Embassy’s website.
The last day the office accepted applications or petitions was September 30.
Beginning on October 1, individuals who were previously assisted by the USCIS Athens Field Office (which includes individuals residing in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Egypt, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Moldova, Oman, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Yemen) must follow online instructions.
An employee at the Department of State who asked to remain anonymous for fear of recrimination told The Pappas Post during a confidential interview that this was “part of the Trump Administration’s anti-immigrant stance” and an effort “to make it next to impossible for new immigrant applicants to navigate the complex process.”
“This is 100% an anti-immigrant move by the Trump Administration,” according to the anonymous source, who has been a foreign service officer at numerous embassies abroad and has worked in the State Department for 22 years.
With the field office, applicants for various immigration categories — e.g. asylum seekers, green card holders, family members of U.S. citizens seeking immigration support and permanent residents requiring green card replacement — could receive help from staff.
According to an announcement on the USCIS website, individuals seeking support now must use online links to download forms and physically mail the forms to field offices in the United States.
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