Home / Insights / Why the Huge Processing Delays?

Nationwide millions of employers and people applying for work visas and green cards are waiting longer than ever for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to process and approve applications and petitions.

Five years ago, an average case took about five months to process. By fiscal year 2018, that same employer waited nearly 10 months. Today, that wait can be 10 months to a year.

Many factors are slowing down cases, including new USCIS’ policies intended to restrict legal immigration.

For example, one policy specifically rescinds a 14-year-old policy to give deference to prior adjudications in extension petitions. Today, USCIS adjudicators are required to disregard prior approvals and conduct duplicate reviews of past decisions, adding unnecessary work and significant time to each case.

A few weeks ago, without notice, Customs and Border Protection decided to implement a new policy refusing to adjudicate Canadian L visa renewals at ports of entries. As a result, Canadians who wish to extend their L visas must apply through USCIS and face unreasonable delays.

These inefficient policies help explain why processing times are increasing as USCIS’ application rates are decreasing. The best approach for the current situation is to be proactive, flexible, and informed.



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