Late last year, founding partner Sophie Alcorn wrote about the dramatic rise processing times for some forms by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Since then, the processing times have improved for many visa and green card categories.
However, processing times for many employment-based and family-based green cards continue to steadily increase. USCIS takes 10 months or more to process most forms.
The wait times for these forms decreased or remained steady:
- I-90 (Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card) for replacing or renewing an existing permanent resident card (green card).
- I-140 (Immigration Petition for Alien Worker) for E-1, E-2, and E-3 and employment-based green cards.
- I-526 (Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur) for EB-5 investor green cards.
- I-751 (Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence) for conditional permanent residence status due to a less-than-two-year-old marriage.
- N-400 (Application for Naturalization) to apply for citizenship.
The wait times for these forms continue to increase:
- I-129 (Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker) for H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, H-3, L-1, O-1 and O-2, P-1A, P-1B, P-1S, P-2 and P-2S, P-3, P-3S, Q-1 or R-1 nonimmigrant worker or to request an extension of stay in or change of status to E-1, E-2, E-3, H-1B1 or TN.
- I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) for green cards petitions for relatives.
- I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) for both employment-based and family-based permanent residence (green card) petitions.
Remember, you can apply for premium processing for some forms including I-129 and I-140. For a $1,410 premium processing fee, USCIS guarantees a decision on a form within 15 calendar days.
USCIS reviews and grants expedite requests on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the office leadership. If you are facing a situation, such as financial loss or an emergency, you may qualify for faster service from USCIS. We have assisted many clients with expedite requests.
If your immigration application or petition has been pending for far longer than the current processing times posted by USCIS and you have followed up, you could file a Writ of Mandamus, a lawsuit that asks a federal court to force a federal agency to fulfill its mandated duties. You would sue USCIS to decide your immigration case.
If you feel like you’ve been subjected to unreasonable delays in getting your immigration matter resolved, please reach out to us. We can help!