On March 29th of 2022, USCIS announced their plan to reduce backlogs and provide relief for individuals who are waiting for their work permits.
Read More : USCIS Announces New Actions to Reduce Backlogs
There are a couple things that USCIS is doing and the first thing is that they are going to increase capacity, improve technology, and expand staffing. They have been talking about doing this for a while now and they are actively working on their technology.
Our attorneys here at Immigration for Couples, we’re active members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and we get to attend meetings with officials from USCIS and the National Visa Center and get some behind-the-scenes updates on what is going on with immigration. They have spoken with us about the technology that they are implementing and most importantly, that they are hiring more individuals to staff the USCIS offices to really cover these cases the high volume of cases and to get through the backlogs.
Internal Metrics for USCIS
Pre-pandemic, all of the funding issues of immigration work permits were processed very regularly, almost always in 90 days or less. One of the internal metrics is three months for work permits. The three-month metric is their internal goal to process work permit applications and have a decision in less than three months.
This is the way that it should be because the whole idea of receiving a work permit is so you can work and be part of society, especially if you’re waiting on your green card.
The other internal goal is six months for N400, I485, I129F, and I130. They want to be able to make a decision on these cases in six months.These are naturalization applications, adjustment of status or green card applications, fiancé visas, and spouse petitions.
There has been a lot of individuals going through the process asking themselves, “Should I have done the fiancé visa or the spouse visa?” Seeing processing times continuing to increase, it’s very disheartening and you spend a lot of time wondering, “Did I pick the right path? Am I ever going to get to the finish line?”
You can rest assured that you are on the right track and you will be able to complete your case. This is really exciting news that they have created these internal goals and that they are making concerted efforts to reduce the backlogs.
Part of their goal says that they want to reach this goal by the end of the fiscal year 2023. While this is great news, it’s not going to happen overnight. It is something that they are actively implementing right now so you might not receive a decision as soon as you would like on your case. But this is their goal to get back to this pre-pandemic levels of receiving decisions on cases.
If you’re waiting and you’re in the middle of waiting for your work permit or any other type of application, you’ll receive a decision sooner than the currently posted timeline.