Although we have seen a dramatic slowdown in the Administration’s processing of nonimmigrant petitions and green cards, our firm has still achieved a very high success rate for our clients. Because we do need to advise our clients about increasing processing times, we dug a little deeper to understand what’s been going on with USCIS.
Here’s what we found—and what to do if you’re facing urgent circumstances that require faster processing.
These forms facing longer waits:
- Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) for green cards petitions for relatives.
- Form I-140 (Immigration Petition for Alien Worker) for E-1, E-2, and E-3 and employment-based green cards.
- Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) for both employment-based and family-based permanent residence (green card) petitions.
- Form I-526 (Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur) for EB-5 investor green cards.
- Form I-751 (Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence), which is required if permanent residence status was conditional due to a less-than-two-year-old marriage.
- Form N-400 (Application for Naturalization) to apply for citizenship.
Need Faster Service?
Some forms—including I-129 and I-140—can receive premium processing. For a $1,410 premium processing fee, USCIS guarantees a decision on a petition or application within 15 calendar days. However, premium processing is unavailable for most of the forms with the longest wait times. Since April, USCIS has suspended premium processing for most H-1B petitions. And USCIS extended the suspension of premium processing for most H-1B petition until Feb. 19, 2019. For forms that are ineligible for premium processing, petitioners can submit expedite requests.
USCIS reviews and grants expedite requests on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the office leadership. If you are experiencing any of the following, you may qualify for faster service from USCIS:
- A severe financial loss to yourself or your company.
- An emergency.
- A family tragedy or other humanitarian issues.
- You’re a nonprofit working for the cultural and social interests of the U.S.
- This is a national interest or defense matter, and you have U.S. government support
- USCIS made a mistake.
- There is a compelling interest for USCIS.
We have assisted many clients with expedite requests. Reach out to us if we can help you.
Need to Prompt Action?
If your immigration application or petition has been pending for far longer than the current processing times posted by USCIS and you have undertaken good faith efforts to follow up, you have the option of filing a Writ of Mandamus. A Writ of Mandamus is a lawsuit filed against a government agency that asks the court to force the agency to fulfill its mandated duties, namely to decide your immigration case.
We typically file a Writ of Mandamus to compel USCIS to make a decision on a long-pending adjustment of status (I-485) or citizenship (N-400) case.
If you feel like you’ve been subjected to unreasonable delays in getting your immigration matter resolved, please reach out to us. If this post provided helpful information, please let me know in the comment section below.