It seems as if most weeks our office gets two or more calls about the ongoing problems with immigration, specifically, why processing times are so slow or why there seems to be unexpected and unexplained rejections of filings all the time. Most immigrants just want to know how much longer they have to wait for immigration to figure things out. Since no one can really answer that particular question, it may be helpful to know that it is possible to discover how long immigration is taking to process different requests.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) posts historic processing times (i.e. wait times) online all the way back to 2017 here. This link allows an immigrant to track the processing times for almost all immigration petitions. It is also possible to check processing times based on the specific USCIS field offices or processing centers at Processing Times. Even more specific information is available to people with pending requests if they go online and enter their receipt number at USCIS Case Status. Although this information is intended to help people to better plan their lives, it really does not help a great deal since processing times are so very long and these numbers tend to fluctuate a fair amount.
Although USCIS announced March 29 new actions to help reduce caseload backlogs and the attempt to improve processing times, this has only helped a small minority of applicants get the help they need. The new efforts were created to reduce the backlogs from Covid-19 as well as the humanitarian crises in both Afghanistan and Ukraine. Biden’s plan is to improve cycle times and processing times as well as establishing “new internal metrics that will guide the agency’s backlog reduction actions.” This sounds more like magic than science, but it is expected to help a small number of immigrants. For most other immigrants, however, the only option is to continue dealing with a very bi-polar immigration office or to ban together to sue the government.
Before I advise clients to spend the tens of thousands of dollars on fighting the government, our office tries to provide non-traditional solutions that do not cost the client anything. For example, many clients do not even try to contact USCIS about their cases. I always first tell them to reach out to USCIS using the phone number listed on all notices from immigration about their case. If calls and inquiries to USCIS do not help, I usually recommend clients reach out to their U.S. Representative or Senator for help pressuring USCIS. As members of congress, there is a lot of influence these individuals have on executive branch offices. Afterall, funding and oversight of executive branch offices fall under the responsibilities of congress. You would be amazed how quickly USCIS responds to pressure from Congress.
There has probably never been a good time to deal with immigration issues, but it seems as though the problems have compounded greatly under the last two administrations. It is good to have access to an immigration attorney who is able and willing to try approaches to resolve problems that most immigration attorneys do not bother to do. If you have questions about a difficult case or the constant uncertainty of immigration, please contact our office to schedule a consultation. You can do this by calling our office at 616-805-3435 or by using the following link to schedule an appointment online: https://marvinlawoffice.com/schedule-a-consultation/