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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawBacklog at USCIS Causing Delays for Visa Application Process

Backlog at USCIS Causing Delays for Visa Application Process

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video today suggests, we are discussing USCIS; that is the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, and some recent reports that various backlogs at the USCIS are causing delays for the overall visa application process. 

I came across a recent blog posting in thinkimmigration.org. It was posted by Jason Boyd, April 30th, 2019. The title of the posting is USCIS Acknowledges That its Own Policies Compound Case Processing Delays.  Now this is a very thick post and I am just going to go ahead and quote some excerpts from it to basically talk about one specific point that can be extrapolated from this which I will get to in a minute.  Quoting directly,”Earlier this month, USCIS responded to a February 2019 letter by 86 members of the House of Representatives who demanded accountability for the Agency's crisis level processing delays. This response yields some of the clearest evidence today that USCIS's own misguided policies are key drivers of the processing slow-down harming millions of individuals, families and US businesses throughout the country. USCIS's letter reveals that in fiscal year 2018, the agency's gross "back log", its overall volume of delayed applications and petitions reached a staggering 5,691,839 cases. That figure marks a 29% increase since fiscal year 2016 and a 69% increase since fiscal year 2014. Crucially this inventory rose from 2017 to fiscal year 2018 despite a substantial decline in application rates and an uptake in budget during that period. The agency had more resources with which to process fewer incoming cases yet its gross backlog still grew."  Now I urge those who are interested in this topic, go check that out. Again, the title is USCIS Acknowledges That its Own Policies Compound Case Processing Delays.  

Just sort of on a side note and the point I want to make with this video is, we have certainly seen a general slowdown of processing with respect to USCIS and the various types of visa petitions we deal with primarily here in the office; that also includes I-601 waivers.  We have seen I-130s, I-129fs.  They are processing more slowly frankly on average than we have seen in the past.  That being said every once in a while we get an outlier that processes more quickly but I think that this is a very insightful article. Again it's quite long. I urge those who are watching this to read it because if you are really interested in this stuff they go into great detail with respect to various aspects of the overall process and how USCIS is having an impact on that; in various ways too and I should say in USCIS policy and USCIS procedure. 

The thing with me is never to particularly point a finger. It is simply to understand what is going on so as to be able to go ahead and try to act with some foreknowledge in order to basically be successful in a given case. So knowing as we do that USCIS is in something of a backlog, I think it's a good idea to, at least in our case is something that I feel is a good strategy is, basically send in the most comprehensive filing possible so as to forestall something akin to a Request for Evidence which can happen as a result of being sort of deficient with respect to documentation. 

So the thing to take away from this video for the lay person viewer, Yes, processing is becoming slower I think overall. I think it is safe to assume that trend probably will not change and so for the future it is a good idea to basically put your best foot forward with respect to filing a petition; file the most comprehensive petition one can. But that being said don't be surprised if you go ahead and see processing times increase compared to years past.