When people are coming to the US after receiving their fiancé visa or they’ve applied for that work authorization concurrently with their adjustment of status, they are kind of in this limbo of waiting for their ability to travel home and the ability to work.
This is probably the most frequent hardship that we hear from clients. Wanting to be able to go home and wanting to be able to participate and help support their family.
Processing Times This 2022
Over the summer, we actually saw timelines drop a bit from the expansive burgeoning of those timelines that we saw through COVID and the backlogs that USCIS had. Over the summer, we saw them go down a bit. We were getting work authorizations within that eight months or so and maybe even less especially if it was part of an adjustment of status application.
Now, we are unfortunately seeing those timelines go up again. Sometimes we will see the work authorization and the travel document issued more quickly with a pending I-485 or adjustment application especially if those have been concurrently filed but not always.
There are many different processing centers and USCIS decides which processing center your application goes to. There is no way for us to pick that. We don’t get a choice and honestly, there’s only one really that is processing much more quickly than the others. All the other ones are averaging around 14 months or so. You are looking at a year right now or more before getting a work authorization and travel document.
This doesn’t mean that there aren’t remedies. If a specific situation comes up, there are tools we can use to speed up a process if you fit into certain categories. If you have a special situation, you should contact our office and we can assist you with whether or not you qualify for one of those additional elements.
But know that they’re more the rarity and they are the exception so it’s going to be something that’s a special situation that we would want to apply for that. But the normal work permit and travel document are taking a little over a year right now and so, you’re kind of in for the long haul with both of those documents.