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Delays in Green Card Processing Continue to Increase

Since 2011, the processing of green card applications by the federal government has moved more and more slowly. Although the goal of the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) is to process green card applications within 120 days, USCIS simply is not meeting this goal. The delays caused Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) to request the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to review and report on green card processing timelines.

In March, 2018, OIG issued a report with important findings related to the processing of green card applications. The OIG found that the average processing time for a green card application is 240 days, and that the USCIS goal of 120 days for processing is unrealistic. Furthermore, the OIG found that the information posted on the USCIS website about processing times was unclear and unhelpful for individuals who had submitted green card applications. For instance, the dates listed as “Processing Cases as of Date” do not refer to the date that USCIS received a green card application, which is confusing for most readers attempting to check the status of their applications.

Delays in Green Card Processing Continue to Increase

For its part, USCIS agreed with OIG that its processing times were unrealistic, due to factors such as lack of experienced staff, lack of funding for more overtime, delays in the processing of security and background checks by outside agencies, and delays in a more thorough vetting process. USCIS has agreed to redesign its website, work on posting status updates for applications in one to two weeks, as opposed to six weeks, and analyze processing times in order to establish new processing time goals.

No matter what your immigration may be, the skilled and knowledgeable immigration lawyers of Peek & Toland are here to help. We handle many different types of immigration cases on a daily basis and have invaluable knowledge about how to best achieve your goals, based on your individual circumstances. By contacting our office right away, you will place yourself in the most advantageous position to successfully resolve your legal matter.

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