There was a lawsuit that was filed by the American Immigration Lawyers Association against USCIS because of the long work permit delays.
If you’re eligible and you file your application for adjustment of status in the United States, part of that application is a work permit. The idea of the work permit is that USCIS wanted to give individuals the ability to have a driver’s license, work, live life to the extent possible of a normal life while you’re going through an immigration journey so the individual isn’t in a state of limbo.
That was the idea. You’d have this work permit while you’re waiting to receive your green card. Supposedly, you should get this work permit within 90 days. USCIS had made a commitment and they used to have a policy that says they will make a decision for everyone to receive their work permits in less than 90 days.
On November 9, 2021, they were sued because they weren’t meeting that requirement in 90 days. They withdrew their commitment. That was extremely unfortunate.
The wait time has continued to grow and we are seeing estimated wait times in some cases more than 12 months. In some service centers, they say that it will take 12 to 21 months to receive a decision on a work permit. For those of you who are going through an immigration process, that’s extremely stressful. You need your work permit and many couples actually receive their green card before they receive a work permit which completely defeats the purpose of having that benefit.
AILA has filed this lawsuit regarding work permit delays saying this is unacceptable and something needs to be done. USCIS needs to honor their commitment to process these work permits quickly.
One of the comments in the lawsuit said this:
“By its own analysis, USCIS says that it takes only 12 minutes to adjudicate or decide these work card applications for which it’s charging $410. Taking more than 20 months to get to an application is not only unreasonable but perplexing.”
The silver lining in this lawsuit is that this is a great way of giving a voice to many immigrants who are going through an immigration process.