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What Should be Done About USCIS Backlog, Processing and Waiting Times?

From Jennifer Leavitt-Wipf,
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The USCIS (formerly the INS) is heavily backlogged with its applications, which means that temporary-visa and green card applicants wait for months or years for their applications to get processed.

Latest Developments

The USCIS (former INS) backlog reduction plan, introduced by Director Aguirre during Congressional testimony, promised to reduce processing times to a maximum of six months by the end of fiscal 2006.

Background

Backlog has been going on for years at the INS (now the USCIS). It has gotten better, then worse, in cycles over the years. 2002 was one of the worst years, when additional security checks were required for some applications. Employment-based immigrants and citizenship applicants will wait one to two years and more. Some people haven't seen their spouses, children or parents for years. There are family members of green card holders who have been waiting for 17 years.

The USCIS receives approximately 6 million applications each year.
USCIS backlog at the end of FY 2003 (September 2002) was 3.7 million cases, however, backlog since then has been reduced by 212,000.

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