Washington, DC: The US Department of Homeland Security is moving ahead in the direction of closure of immigration service offices outside the country. It says that the time, effort and money spared by closing these offices will be used to better handle the work already done in the offices located within the country.

American Citizenship and Immigration Services spokesman Jessica Collins said on Tuesday that the agency is now in the initial round of talks to close offices located in 20 countries outside the United States.

About 70 staff members work as of now in the UK, Mexico, South Africa, Italy, India, Philippines, China and other countries.

Collins said that the agency would work closely with the US Department of State to avoid any obstacles in services outside the country.

Many institutions including Amnesty International and Human Rights First have criticised this move, stating that closure of international offices means reducing services for refugees.

The US Department of Homeland Security says that refugee services will not be affected.