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How Long Does Uscis Actively Review Case?

How Long Does Uscis Actively Review Case
How Long does USCIS Have to Actively Review a Case? – It takes approximately 120 days for USCIS to actively review a case. The agency may require additional time to complete its review if any documents are missing. In these instances, USCIS can put a case on hold until it receives any missing documents.

  1. Eep in mind that USCIS adjudicates over 28,000 requests for immigration benefits every day.
  2. The agency does its best to process cases with speed and precision.
  3. It is most important for USCIS to review cases carefully, and the agency may take many hours to complete a full review.
  4. USCIS workloads vary, which can impact how long it takes the agency to review a case.

If USCIS has a backlog of cases, this may result in delays in its reviews. Also, USCIS tends to process cases that yield immediate benefits faster than all others.

How long does it take after actively reviewed by USCIS?

AAO Processing Times The AAO reports its processing times by form type, displaying the total number of completions for the quarter and the percentage completed within 180 days, which is our goal. The administrative appeals process has two stages: initial field review and AAO appellate review.

Initial field review: The office that issued the unfavorable decision has 45 days to evaluate the appeal and determine whether to take favorable action on the appeal. If that office does not take favorable action, it will forward the appeal to the AAO and send the appellant a Notice of Transfer to the AAO.

AAO appellate review: The AAO strives to complete its appellate review within 180 days from the time it receives a complete case record after the initial field review. Some cases may take longer than 180 days due to factors beyond the AAO’s control. For example, additional documentation may be needed to complete the record, or the case may be more complex and require additional review.

Timeliness of Fiscal Year 2023 Second Quarter Completions (January – March 2023)

Form Type Case Type Completed 0-180 Days Quarterly Completions
Cumulative total of all completions 88.20% 932
I-129CW Petition for CNMI Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker 100% 5
I-129F Petition for Fiancée 91.67% 12
I-129H1B Nonimmigrant Specialty Occupation Worker 92.59% 27
I-129H2B Nonimmigrant Temporary Non-Agricultural Worker 100% 1
I-129H3 Nonimmigrant Trainee or Special Education Exchange 100% 1
I-129L Nonimmigrant Intracompany Transferee 100% 31
I-129O Nonimmigrant Extraordinary Ability Worker 93.33% 15
I-129P Athletes, Artists and Entertainers 100% 7
I-129R Nonimmigrant Religious Worker 100% 11
I-131 Application for Travel Document 87.50% 8
I-140A Alien with Extraordinary Ability 87.10% 93
I-140B Outstanding Professor or Researcher 100% 2
I-140C Multinational Manager or Executive 100% 26
I-140D Advanced Degree Professional 94.44% 18
I-140E Professional Worker 95.65% 23
I-140F Skilled Worker 83.33% 18
I-140G Other Worker 100% 13
I-140I National Interest Waiver 98.73% 157
I-212 Application to Reapply for Admission 96.97% 33
I-352 Bond Breach 100% 6
I-360C Special Immigrant Juvenile 47.62% 42
I-360D Petition for Religious Worker 90.00% 10
I-360M Special Immigrant Iraq National 100% 1
I-360N Special Immigrant Afghanistan National 100% 2
I-360 VAWA Violence Against Women Act Petition 90.77% 65
I-485T Adjustment of Status of T Nonimmigrants 50.00% 2
I-485U Adjustment of Status of U Nonimmigrants 95.38% 65
I-526 Alien Entrepreneur 46.15% 13
I-600 Petition for Orphan 22.22% 9
I-601 Application for Waiver of Inadmissibility 88.41% 69
I-612 Application of 212(e) Waiver 100% 2
I-687 Application for Status as a Temporary Resident Under Section 245A 100% 1
I-800 Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative 0% 1
I-821 Temporary Protected Status 77.78% 18
I-914 Application for T Nonimmigrant Status 100% 14
I-918 Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status 90.57% 53
I-929 Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Recipient 100% 3
N-565 Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document 71.43% 7
N-600 Certificate of Citizenship 62.50% 48

AAO Processing Times

What does it mean by actively reviewed?

So when your case is in cases actively reviewing what’s really happening is they’re doing your background checks and they’re also completing a check on your paperwork to make sure that all of your all of your items are there and it’s it’s all good and you don’t need a request for evidence.

Are IOE cases processed faster?

Hello, everybody. Welcome back for our “former immigration officer Q&A.” I’m Erik Finch. I just want to emphasize again that I am not a lawyer, I am not a current government official, and none of the information that we talk about today is legal advice.

  • What I am is a manager here at Boundless Immigration and a former USCIS adjudicator and a former Department of State consular officer.
  • We hold these Q&As just to have a chance to talk directly to folks who are interested in immigration and want to learn more about the process.
  • I will be speaking purely on my own experiences and generalities around what I’ve learned about the immigration process.

None of this information is legal advice, and please don’t take it as specific to your case. So, let’s go ahead and get started. Which field office processes IOE code? IOE is the code. As we know, the three letters before your receipt number usually indicate the office or service center where your case is being processed.

In the case of the IOE code, I don’t actually know what that stands for or if it stands for anything, but, it means is that it was a digitally filed application. So, you filed it digitally, or in some cases, forms like the I-485, USCIS will take the paper application that you sent and then scan it and digitize it and turn it into a digital file for adjudication.

Those IOE forms mean that your case is being processed digitally, which is usually good news because those cases tend to flow through the system a bit faster. You don’t have to wait for them to move your file around. And at the point at which the adjudicator is ready to approve your case, they can simply do that in the system, and it will send an automated message to the green card processing and printing facility to go ahead and print and ship your green card.

That’s one thing that the USA has really been trying to push forward with is this modernization and digitalization of their process. And, if you get an Iowa receipt number, that indicates that you’re one of the people who are part of that process. The NVC asked for my W2 months ago. Do I send them the 2021 version now? Yes.

I think if you’re responding to an RFE, generally you want to give them the most up-to-date information. There are cases, like you say, around tax season where if you still have time to respond and you think you’ll have more up to date documents available, especially if you think they’ll be favorable to your case, it may be worth considering including that more up to date information inside the response.

  1. But ultimately, only a lawyer could really tell you for sure whether that will be something that will be applicable to the RFE.
  2. I think in general, when it comes to RFE responses or providing information to USCIS, you want to be as thorough as possible, and that includes things that you think may help at the interview step.

If you want to bring some more up-to-date documents and things to show them on your financials or evidence of your relationship, I think that’s always helpful. Is there another way to expedite EADS if not in health care? This one is one I’m a little bit less familiar with.

I guess I’ll approach it two ways. Yes, there is the healthcare exception that’s in effect, and there is specific guidance from USCIS on how to pursue that expedited request. Now, behind that, there is a more general policy at USCIS about expediting requests that I think a lot of people are curious about, so I’ll say one thing and then I’ll say the other.

The actual policy around expediting requests is quite open. If you look at the website, they give you a number of criteria, like, “is it an urgent or humanitarian request” or is it some kind of family emergency? They basically tell you, hey, there’s this process.

  1. You can reach out and plead your case.
  2. But, what I will also tell you from having worked inside USCIS is that these expedite requests are rarely granted and usually only around humanitarian-type situations that we would recognize is pretty extreme.
  3. People feel like if the explanation request is not granted, the petitioner may not still be alive, or if that’s the only chance for the beneficiary to see the petitioner in a relatively short amount of time.

So sometimes if the petitioner has a terminal illness, then the agency will look at that and say, okay, well, we do want these people to be able to say goodbye to each other and take that step in the process so they will look at that type of stuff. But yeah, what usually doesn’t pass are things like “I need to start a new job” or “I have some kind of academic program I want to get into” or things that are emergencies for people on a personal basis but don’t really constitute the kind of life and death criteria that USCIS would consider making an exception for.

  1. And also, I should say, the expedite request.
  2. Usually, the response is not super quick.
  3. This is one where I don’t think there’s really a set process around it.
  4. But sometimes if things are in the news, the agency will be more responsive than if it’s just sort of a personal matter that you’re trying to help them understand.

So, I just say that not to promote anybody to try to get their personal crises in the news, but just because that’s what I’ve seen in the past. In some cases, they’ve been responsive to the pressure that they get externally around certain types of controversial events or things when they’re denying people access to relatives or taking an absurdly long time processing a petition.

  • So, expedites are possible, but the only really specific scenario where they’re encouraging people to seek expedite requests right now as the EADS for healthcare workers.
  • I think we can all understand why that would be one that they were prioritizing.
  • How does USCIS track the couple’s finances, individual credit cards, and tax returns? I would say: taxes and tax filings, pay stubs and W2s, and bank accounts, I don’t just mean the general verification that you have a bank account, but the list of charges and things like that.

If they really want to see that a couple’s finances are intertwined, they’ll look at the accounts that they have and the bank account statements. If there’s a lot of activity and it looks like it’s like a sort of an account for daily use, then that carries more weight than an account that some money was put in and then nothing’s ever really been done with it.

  • Yes, I think that with those three things combined, this is where the financial part of it bleeds over a little into the evidence or relationship part because they’re kind of looking for two things with your finances.
  • It depends on what visa you’re applying for, but if the 864 form and that eligibility around public charge is part of your immigration process, then, yeah, they’re going to need to confirm that one of the people involved in the process, including possibly a joint sponsor, has the financial wherewithal to overcome that minimum requirement.

And then the other part where the finances come into play is what they call “commingling of finances,” which serves as evidence that you have a valid relationship. So, the thinking is that if two people say they’re married but have done zero effort to bring their financial worlds in sync by, like, having joint bank accounts and credit cards and things like that, then it doesn’t really seem very convincing that they’re in a legitimate relationship.

Now that’s a little bit of a generalization, and I think they’re open to discussion about how everybody is a little different. I know some members of my family or friends who are married have separate bank accounts and have one person’s name on certain documents and property and some of it’s on the other person’s name, but you would want to be able to talk them through that at your interview if that’s the case.

And if what you’re telling them in that scenario is in alignment with what your financial documents show, then usually that’s fine. It’s just one piece of evidence that they look at, in addition to other things. I think where people get into trouble is when they say “we’re married, we’re applying for a green card, but we don’t live together.

We have no joint bank accounts. We don’t share any finances. We don’t seem to have strong relationships with each other’s family or friends that would indicate that they have a social life or that they’re doing things together.” When all those things add up to a concern, then that’s when they start considering whether the relationship is even legitimate at all.

I hope that’s a bit of useful context. And yeah, credit card statements would work the same as bank account statements where they see that there’s a lot of activity and daily use of those credit cards that are held by both parties. That would also work to prove the commingling of finances.

How will USCIS respond to expedite work authorization for healthcare workers? This one I’m a little fuzzy about because I haven’t dealt with this process directly. I would imagine that once the request is put in, you’ll receive some kind of like, I-797 “notice of action” that indicates their processing or reviewing your expedite request.

And then, ideally, you would just be placed in an expedited queue and received an actual employment authorization document sooner than you would have otherwise. This would be sort of like DACA, where I think if people meet the criteria for the expedite, they would get it, and then that process would work.

I don’t really have good timelines for this because it’s pretty specific to health care workers, but the fact that this is a specific exception that they’ve made and encouraged people to apply for, I would imagine that it goes pretty quickly. I mean, there are some processes at USCIS that can get through in a few months, and this would likely be one of them.

So sorry not to have more detailed information on that, but that’s a little bit of a newer program and something that I didn’t have a lot of exposure to. How are the F2A petitions going? How long is the process taking? So, a couple of different things to discuss here.

  1. For people who are less familiar, the F2A is a preference-based visa category for the spouses and children of legal permanent residents and green cardholders.
  2. Yes, there are not a lot of immigration petitions that green card holders can file.
  3. US citizens are primarily the ones who are able to petition for immigration benefits for their foreign relatives and spouses, but in the case of the spouse and child, yes, even a green card holder can apply for that.

But there’s a cap, and that’s why it’s a preference-based category. I think this question could theoretically be addressing two different parts of that, right. One is, what is the wait time? As we all know, preference-based categories, “the adult children of US citizens, the married children of US citizens, the spouses and children of LPRs, the unmarried adult children of LPRs, the married brothers and sisters of US citizens,” can all be applied for, but they have yearly caps, they have country-based quotas.

  1. And for that reason, over time, in some cases, those queues, those lines can get quite long.
  2. For example, for the adult siblings of US citizens from Mexico, it’s about a 25-year wait from the time you file your petition until the time that you get to your place in line where you can actually file for your visa or adjustment of status.

Now, that’s an extreme example, but there are a number of preference-based family categories, especially now when there’s such a backlog that’s been created by the pandemic, have gotten quite long in some cases. This affects employment-based visa applicants as well.

  • So, in the case of F2A, I think the good news is that we want to preserve and reunite families, spouses and children of people, and green card holders living in the US.
  • Yes, they deserve to be with their immediate family, and that’s something that the law tends to preserve.
  • So, for the most part, F2A petitions, look at the Visa Bulletin, and they should still be current for most countries.

On that Visa Bulletin, you can see the wait times for all the preference-based categories: family and employment-based. It’s a little confusing of a web page to navigate, but essentially, it’ll tell you the date that you had to have entered the line, started the process, and filed your petition in order to now be able to at this particular month, go ahead and start the actual visa application.

So, I’m looking at F2A, and it says “C,” which means current, which means that anybody who files a petition can immediately file a visa application or adjustment of status application along with that petition. So that’s good news. For spouses and children of LPRs, that means that, essentially, at least temporarily, while these dates stay current, they are able to basically apply as if they’re immediate relative category and go ahead and go through the whole process that way.

Now, that being said, I’m not sure if this question is asking how long the petition process takes or not. It’s a little ambiguous, so I’ll just quickly touch on two other aspects of wait time. One is “how fast is the process taking for the petition once it’s filed?” F2A petitions end up going through a different process, but it’s one I-130 form.

It’s the same form that’s filed for virtually all the family-based petitions. I think that’s taking about eight to twelve months for most folks right now, so that would be about the time that it took to get the petition approved. And then depending on whether the foreign spouse was overseas or in the US, one of two things will happen.

What’s It Mean If My Case Is Being \

You would file for a visa appointment. You’ll be contacted by the National Visa Center to set up an appointment for the interview at the US embassy in the foreign country. Or you would be able to go ahead again. Since they’re current, you could theoretically have filed your I-485 along with the F2A petition.

  1. And then you would have to wait an additional few months for your interview to be scheduled at a USCIS field office for the preference-based categories.
  2. If you exclude or the wait time that it takes in order for you to be current or you are current, it will function mostly on the same timelines that the similar immediate relative petition would take to process through the USCIS process.

Green card holder and citizen. What is the difference to apply for spouse? The processing time is different for these two cases to get approval for the I-130. So, we covered a little bit of this in the prior question, but yeah, it’s a different process.

US citizens are able to file for their spouse as what we call “immediate relative category,” an IR-1 or an IR-6 if they’re adjusting in the US. Those have no caps or no quotas. They simply file their I-130 and their I-485 at the same time. There’s no wait for currency; there’s no queue. It just takes as long as it takes to process through the USCIS process, which I think it varies a lot.

And we’ve talked about this before on these Q&As, but assuming your field office is caught up, I think usually it takes about a year. I think when I left the Portland field office, that was about the turnaround time to receive an interview for a pretty simple immediate relative application.

LPRs are technically applying for that F2A visa we just discussed. And again, assuming it’s current, they’re able to apply the same way. One interesting thing is, I do feel like for various reasons, the F2A process is slightly faster than the IR-1 process, assuming that they were current and didn’t have a built-in delay.

We would see those F2A applications come through fairly quickly. And also, the nice thing about the F2A is if you have a child, you don’t have to file an additional I-485 for the child like you do for a US citizen immediate relative application. The F2A can just put the children on the I-130 and then receive the visas off the I-485 for what they call the primary applicant.

So, yeah, sorry, that’s a small technicality that maybe seems like a bigger deal from my point of view, but there is a kind of interesting difference between the two processes. And it feels like it makes that process slightly faster for LPR F2A applicants sometimes. But yeah, the processing time for the I-130 should be similar.

So, you would get that approval notice. And then there are some cases where F2As get looked at for different things at different offices, and those timelines can vary a little bit. And, of course, we also have to remember that the actual field office where you’re going have their own backlogs and wait times.

  1. So, we’ve talked about this before.
  2. In some of the bigger cities, like Seattle or New York or parts of California, you may have an additional several months of wait time just to get scheduled for an appointment, whereas if you’re in an area where the field office is smaller or the applicant pool is smaller, you might be able to get the actual appointment for your interview much faster.

Yeah, I realize that’s kind of an ambiguous answer. I know it’s very difficult sometimes to really think through all the different things that are coming, all the different sorts of processing time, etc. But yeah, I think the general hope is that people’s spouses, in particular, can get through the process from start to finish in like twelve to 16 months.

  • And I feel like that’s still most of the time how it goes.
  • Background checks? This is one I’m going to be very circumspect about because this is a process that’s a little more sensitive, but just to refer directly to what is in the actual law and what things they’re checking for with folks.
  • USCIS is a little bit more limited in what kind of background checks they can do on American citizens.

American citizens have various laws to protect their privacy and things like that. Now, in order to be eligible to file for foreign citizens to get immigration benefits, there is some degree of information that you have to divulge to the agency. There are questions about certain types of offenses that they’ve determined could potentially put the person that you’re petitioning for in danger.

That is something that they’ll ask about and look for, but they don’t collect. There was an attempt, I think, a couple of years ago to introduce a scenario where they would collect fingerprints and other biometrics from the actual US citizen petitioner. I don’t think they were successful in pushing that forward.

There was some resistance to that in Congress and things like that. So really, what they’re checking the sponsor or the petitioner for are some very specific things such as violence against women and children, making sure that there’s nothing in their criminal history that would serve as an indicator that the people that they’re trying to petition for could be put in danger.

The beneficiary, it’s much more comprehensive, and they’re going to look and ask questions about pretty much all of your criminal history, even including fairly minor things. And they’ll do that in various ways. They’ll take fingerprints, and they’ll ask for police records from countries that you’ve lived in overseas to see if there’s any official documentation of anything that you’ve done before.

They’ll look at certain international databases and things that they have access to to see if there have been any problems anywhere else that they need to be aware of. And they’ll ask you questions. It’s important that you tell the factual and honest truth about criminal history, regardless of whether they already have access to the information or not, because you have to remember that you’re starting an immigration process that will involve multiple extra steps and anything that they uncover each of these times that you’re put in front of a consular officer or you’re having a discussion with a US official that’s sort of on the record.

And if they discover later that there was something that wasn’t disclosed or they get access to some information that you didn’t talk about or reveal, then not only can they get you in trouble and deny the application, but they could roll back a lot of the other things that were given, including green cards and past travel visas, making it very difficult for you to successfully receive any other immigration benefit in the future.

F11 visas? (Unmarried sons and daughters of US citizens.) One of the more confusing things that exist in the immigration system, the family-based immigration system, is “what’s going on with children?” How do we define it? What are the ages? What happens when people get married? When are they eligible for certain visas and when does that change? And it’s a complicated discussion.

  • And honestly, it’s quite confusing even for people who’ve done consular and immigration work for a long time.
  • But in short, and it’s also somewhat confusing because the definition of a child changes depending on whether you’re doing citizenship-related things or visa, non-migrant, and immigrant visa-related things, but generally it’s a person under 21.

Again, not for citizenship, but for most visa processes, it’s unmarried persons under 21. It can be your stepchild, your adopted child, or your natural child. And the problem that people run into in a lot of cases is these immigration processes take so long that the status of the child can change while you’re waiting for certain dates to hit or things to become current.

And then the question becomes “well, now my child is growing up or starting their own family, but we still want to immigrate together.” When does that status change and how does it change? Because when the child is younger and unmarried, it’s quite simple, right? If they have those relationships that I talked about before and they’re under 21, then at whatever point their parent becomes the recipient of an immigrant visa process and finds a US petitioner, then they sort of get added onto those petitions and they’re able to apply for visas alongside their parents.

But yeah, it changes in a couple of different ways at different points. So, say you entered this process and then you have a five-year wait, and in that time, your child is about to turn 22. There is something called the Child Status Protection Act, which gives them some limited protection.

  1. So, as you get closer to the end of the process, if you’re going to miss it by like six months, sometimes they’ll just stop the child’s clock at 21.
  2. If you’ve already submitted your application, your either your actual visa application, or adjustment status, then that will help them there.
  3. And then they won’t change status and have to go into a different category that doesn’t exist for K-2s.

It is a hard-limited 21 and marriage for the children of fiancé visa recipients that does have to take place before the child is 21. And then the other thing is if that protection doesn’t exist or we exceed 21, then what happens then? And then it becomes a question of like, is the child married or unmarried? And then there’s a category, and this is what the question referred to, the unmarried son or daughter of a US citizen.

  • At 21, they changed from a “child” to a “son or daughter.” At that point, there are different categories for them and different wait times.
  • Right now, for most people in the world, the currency date for an F-1, which would be an unmarried son or daughter, is 1 December 14, which means there’s roughly an eight-year wait from the time that you file your petition to the time that adult now child, unmarried child is able to then file for their visa or file for adjustment status.

That’s a long time. If you turn 22 and your age out and then you’re in this category, you can wait another eight years before it’s your turn to go ahead and get that visa, too. And this does happen to some people. And then if you get married, then it changes again, right? And then it’s married sons or daughters of us citizens.

In that case, for most countries, the currency date is 22 November 2008. So now you’re waiting 14 years for your child to be able to come and join you and get their green card that way. So, yeah, you can see that it becomes quite a big thing for a lot of families because that will lead to quite a long separation.

And especially for folks who are just in their 20s and starting to build their own family, being away from their parents for that long can be quite difficult. There is a lot of pressure and urgency in a lot of these cases for people to get this process done in a way that their children will be able to come with them, even if their children are already over 18 and starting to kind of strike out on their own.

So, yeah, I’m happy to talk about that more in the future, if there are future questions, but we’re going to go ahead and wrap up for today. I appreciate everyone taking the time. I also want to say that if you like what you’re hearing and you want to know more, then we have a ton of great resources and content on Boundless about all these processes, so, I encourage you to look there.

Please keep talking to us about the questions that you have and we’ll keep featuring them on this event and try to answer them in a complete way as possible. So, thank you very much. Bye.

Why is my I-130 taking so long 2023?

USCIS Processing Times – Why 2023 Will Be Faster and Easier! Immigration to the U.S. isn’t exactly quick and easy, but processing times may be improving in 2023! But before we can talk about what changes the agency will go through to speed things up, it’s worth understanding how USCIS processing times grew so long over the last few years.

  • Sources of the Slowdown Statistics show that the Trump administration enacted new policies that expanded USCIS processing times.
  • These policies included making immigration application forms longer, requiring more in-person interviews, asking for additional evidence more frequently, and requiring a higher level of scrutiny for renewal applications.

Despite the added requirements, the number of immigrants that applied to become U.S. citizens actually increased. Some policy analysts say the anti-immigrant rhetoric of the Trump-era led more people to seek security in their citizenship status. The combination of more people applying and slower processing due to added requirements created the perfect storm, causing the USCIS backlog to nearly double.

According to a report from the Government Accountability Office, the USCIS backlog increased by 85% between 2015 and 2020. The onset of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 slowed the USCIS’s snail’s pace down to a total standstill. On March 20, 2020, the Department of State suspended routine visa services at embassies and consulates worldwide, canceling all immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments.

To be fair, these closures and cancellations were necessary in the face of a deadly, global pandemic, but it’s hard to deny the impact this had on immigrants, families, and businesses. Importantly, the COVID-19 pandemic also revealed some of the USCIS’s organizational inefficiencies.

  1. For example, the USCIS is funded almost entirely by application fees.
  2. This meant that when immigration filings dropped by 40% between March and May 2020, the agency’s cash flow was drastically reduced.
  3. The USCIS warned employees about a potential furlough (twice!), making it even harder to address the backlog.

Luckily, furloughs were avoided, and USCIS operations resumed. But social distancing practices slowed adjudications even as rates of applications continued to increase. By the end of 2021, the USCIS had adjudicated 1.8 million fewer applications than it received.

How long is the processing time for I-130 approval?

In a Nutshell Five U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) service centers currently process Form I-130. – The current average processing time for U.S. citizens filing Form I-130 for a spouse beneficiary is 18 months. – The current average processing time for legal permanent residents filing Form I-130 for a spouse beneficiary is 28 months.

What does it mean when your case is being actively reviewed by USCIS I-130?

This date means that if your application was received on or before that date, USCIS should be working on it. Check processing times here: USCIS Processing Time Information. You will need to know the name of the office. Your I-130 application is in queue for processing.

Does USCIS work on weekends?

USCIS Updates Guidance Relating to Filing Periods and Response Timeframes Ending on Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal Holidays U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has revised its policy to address instances where the last day of filing for a certain benefit request or response to a Request for Evidence or a Notice of Intent to Deny, Revoke, Rescind, or Terminate, falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or federal holiday.

When filing for certain benefits, applicants must file a benefit request within the period of filing, if applicable, as prescribed by statute, regulation, and form instructions. This includes filing your request before the end of a certain time period (such as filing for Temporary Protected Status, or TPS), or before a current period of lawful status ends or an individual reaches a certain age.

For example, petitioners for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status must file their petition, Form I-360, before their 21 st birthday. As another example, conditional permanent residents must file the Form I-751 before the expiration of their conditional residence status to avoid automatic termination.

USCIS does not accept paper-based applications or petitions on Saturdays, Sundays, or federal holidays. With this recent update, when the last day of the filing period for a paper-filed benefit request falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or federal holiday, USCIS will apply the regulatory definition of “day” and extend the deadline for filing until the end of the next business day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or federal holiday.

In these situations, while the receipt date will continue to reflect the date USCIS physically received the request, USCIS will consider the benefit request to have been timely filed. Similarly, this update also clarifies that where the last day to respond by mail to a mailed Request for Evidence or a Notice of Intent to Deny, Revoke, Rescind, or Terminate falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or federal holiday, USCIS will consider the response timely if received by the end of the next business day.

As of March 24, 2023,, Therefore, it is critical that applicants respond to requests from USCIS in a timely manner. Failure to submit requested evidence that is relevant to the adjudication is grounds for denying the request. If a benefit requestor does not respond by the required date, USCIS may deny the benefit request as abandoned, deny the benefit request on the records, or deny the benefit request for both reasons.

USCIS considers electronically submitted benefit requests to be received immediately upon submission. Therefore, electronic filings are not affected by the fact that USCIS does not accept deliveries on Saturdays, Sundays, or federal holidays, and USCIS does not apply the regulatory definition of “day” to extend the filing period for benefit requests filed electronically.

Why is USCIS taking so long?

How Long Does Uscis Actively Review Case U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is taking longer to review applications than ever before, according to new government data, In their recent fee structure proposal, which is set to drastically increase costs for nearly every visa category, USCIS released current data on the agency’s “hours per completion to process forms.” The report displays a massive decline in efficiency, with 82% of forms now taking longer for USCIS adjudicators to review.

As a result, lower review times are significantly contributing to USCIS’ massive application backlog — the forms that now take longer to review account for 86% of the current backlog, One major reason for the slower review times is that immigration forms have significantly increased in length over the last two decades, from fewer than 200 pages total in 2003 to more than 700 pages total in 2023.

Overall, 93% of USCIS forms have grown in length since their introduction. As each form increases in length and complexity, USCIS adjudicators must spend more time on each application. Longer forms also lead to longer visa interviews, as interviewing officers have been provided with even more information to review and corroborate with the applicant.

  1. USCIS’ recent incentives to digitize the immigration process are also counterintuitively making the application review process slower.
  2. As the agency encourages more online form filings, reviewers are struggling to keep up.
  3. For many adjudicators who are trained to review lengthy paper forms, it can be cumbersome to review those same forms and supporting documents digitally.

The consequences of USCIS’ review time inefficiencies are staggering. Estimates show that it will now take nearly 10 million man-hours to work through the existing visa backlog — 3.3. million more hours than if adjudicators were reviewing at their previous speeds.

How can I speed up my case with USCIS?

In General – You may ask USCIS to expedite adjudication of a benefit request (such as an application or petition) for an immigration benefit. USCIS:

Considers all expedite requests on a case-by-case basis; May require additional documentation to support a request; and Has the sole discretion to decide whether to accommodate a request.

Because granting an expedite request means that USCIS would adjudicate the requestor’s benefit ahead of others who filed earlier, we carefully weigh the urgency and merit of each expedite request. We may consider an expedite request if it meets one or more of the following criteria or circumstances:

Severe financial loss to a company or person, provided that the need for urgent action is not the result of the petitioner’s or applicant’s failure to:

Timely file the benefit request, or Timely respond to any requests for additional evidence;

A company can demonstrate that it would suffer a severe financial loss if it is at risk of failing, losing a critical contract, or having to lay off other employees. For example, a medical office may suffer severe financial loss if a gap in a doctor’s employment authorization would require the medical practice to lay off its medical assistants.

  • Job loss may be sufficient to establish severe financial loss for a person, depending on the individual circumstances.
  • For example, the inability to travel for work that would result in job loss might warrant expedited treatment.
  • The need to obtain employment authorization by itself, without evidence of other compelling factors, does not warrant expedited treatment.

In addition, severe financial loss may also be established where failure to expedite would result in a loss of critical public benefits or services.

Emergencies and urgent humanitarian reasons;

In the context of an expedite request, humanitarian reasons are those related to human welfare. Examples may include, but are not limited to, illness, disability, extreme living conditions, death in the family, or a critical need to travel to obtain medical treatment in a limited amount of time.

  1. An emergency may include an urgent need to expedite employment authorization for healthcare workers during a national emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. Additionally, an expedite request may be considered under this criterion in instances where a vulnerable person’s safety may be compromised due to a breach of confidentiality if there is a delay in processing the benefit application.

A benefit requestor’s desire to travel for vacation does not, in general, meet the definition of an emergency.

Nonprofit organization (as designated by the Internal Revenue Service) whose request is in furtherance of the cultural or social interests of the United States;

A nonprofit organization seeking to expedite a beneficiary’s benefit request must demonstrate an urgent need to expedite the case based on the beneficiary’s specific role within the nonprofit in furthering cultural or social interests (as opposed to the organization’s role in furthering social or cultural interests).

Examples may include a medical professional urgently needed for medical research related to a specific social U.S. interest (such as the COVID-19 pandemic or other socially impactful research or project) or a university professor urgently needed to participate in a specific and imminent cultural program.

Another example is a religious organization that urgently needs a beneficiary’s specific services and skill set to continue a vital social outreach program. In such instances, the religious organization must articulate why the respective beneficiary is specifically needed, as opposed to pointing to a general shortage alone.

U.S. government interests (such cases identified as urgent by federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Labor, National Labor Relations Board, Equal Opportunity Commission, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, or other public safety or national security interests); or

U.S. government interests may include, but are not limited to, cases identified as urgent by other government agencies, including labor and employment agencies, and public safety or national security interests. For expedite requests made by a federal agency, involving other public safety or national security interests, the national interest need must be immediate and substantive.

If the need for the action is not immediate, expedited processing is not warranted. A substantive need does not mean that a delay would pose existential or irreversible consequences to the national interests but rather that the case at hand is of a scale or a uniqueness that requires immediate action to prevent real and serious harm to U.S.

interests. Expedite requests from government agencies (federal, state, or local) must be made by a senior-level official of that agency. If the request relates to employment authorization, the request must demonstrate that the need for a person to be employment-authorized is mission-critical and goes beyond a general need to retain a particular worker or person.

Clear USCIS error.

Not every circumstance that fits in one of these categories will result in expedited processing. For more information, see USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 1, Part A, Public Services, Chapter 5, Requests to Expedite Applications or Petitions, You can generally request expedited processing by calling the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833) or by asking Emma after you have obtained a receipt notice.

  • You can access Emma by clicking on the Ask Emma icon on the top right of this page).
  • The USCIS Contact Center will not be able to refer the expedite request to the appropriate office without a receipt number.
  • When you call to request expedited processing, the USCIS Contact Center creates and forwards a service request to the office with jurisdiction over your application or petition.

After receiving the service request, the reviewing office may request additional documentation to support expedited processing. A decision on an expedite request is not an approval or a denial of the underlying benefit request. The expedite decision simply informs the requestor whether USCIS will take the benefit request out of date order and issue a decision (approval or denial) faster than the normal processing time.

How accurate are USCIS processing times 2023?

How Accurate Are USCIS Processing Times 2023? – USCIS processing times are quite accurate but are subject to change without prior notice. For example, the USCIS processing times I-130 may be influenced by an error on the petitioner’s side or even the USCIS themselves.

Does USCIS review tips?

Privacy Notice – AUTHORITIES : The information requested on this form, and the associated evidence, is collected under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sections INA §§ 287(a)(b),(f) and 235(d)(3)(4), as well as Homeland Security Delegation No.0150 and 0150.1 paragraphs (I), (N) and (S).

  • PURPOSE : The primary purpose for providing the requested information on this form is to assist USCIS in investigating allegations of immigration fraud.
  • DHS uses the information you provide to ensure the integrity of the legal immigration system and to determine eligibility for a requested benefit.
  • DISCLOSURE : The information you provide about yourself is voluntary.

However, failure to provide your contact information may hinder USCIS’s ability to follow up with you on your tip and take further action. Furthermore, USCIS requires you to provide certain information about the subject of the tip to verify the identity of the subject and allow USCIS to research and determine whether the tip is actionable.

  1. Failure to provide the required information will result in USCIS being unable to verify the subject’s identity and investigate the suspected fraud.
  2. ROUTINE USES : DHS may, where allowable under relevant confidentiality provisions, share the information you provide on this form and any additional requested evidence with other Federal, state, local, and foreign government agencies and authorized organizations.

DHS follows approved routine uses described in the associated published system of records notices and the published privacy impact assessment, which you can find at www.dhs.gov/privacy, DHS may also share this information, as appropriate, for law enforcement purposes or in the interest of national security.

Paperwork Reduction Act U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services is collecting this information as part of its agency mission under the Department of Homeland Security. The public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated at 10 minutes (0.166 hours) per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, gathering the required documentation and information, completing the form, preparing statements, attaching necessary documentation, and submitting the form.

An agency may not conduct or sponsor an information collection, and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information, unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to: U.S.

Citizenship and Immigration Services, Regulatory Coordination Division, Office of Policy and Strategy, 20 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20529- 2140; OMB No.1615-PRA. Do not mail your completed form G-1530 to this address. Warning: Providing false information could lead to fines, imprisonment, or both.

(Title 18, U.S.C. § 1001).

What is the best way to track USCIS case status?

If you filed an immigration application or petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you can check the progress of your case online or by phone. Online: Use the case status online tool to check for updates about your immigration case.

You will need your 13-character receipt number from your application or petition. Check your immigration case status By phone: If you are calling from the U.S., contact the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 or TTY 1-800-767-1833. If you are outside the U.S., call 212-620-3418 or contact a USCIS international field office,

LAST UPDATED: May 8, 2023

How does USCIS send approval notice?

What is Form I-797? – Form I-797 is sent to immigrant and non-immigrant visa applicants to inform them that their application has been received or approved — which is why it is sometimes called a “receipt notice” or “approval notice.” Pretty much every document received or sent by U.S. Learn more about what Boundless can do to help. “}” data-sheets-userformat=”,”11″:4,”12″:0}”>U.S. Immigration can be complex and confusing. Boundless is here to help. Learn more about what Boundless can do to help.

How do you know if your petition is approved?

Form I-130 Commonly Asked Questions –

What is the difference between Form I-130 and Form I-485?

Form I-130 is the first step to helping a relative apply for a green card if you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and you want to prove that you are related to someone who is eligible for permanent residency. If your relative is already in the United States, they may be able to use Form I-485 (Application for Adjustment of Status) to apply for permanent residency at the same time.

In some cases, you may be able to file these forms together. 2. How do I file Form I-130? You can file Form I-130 either online or via mail. To file online, you need to create an online account with USCIS. This will also make it easier to receive case alerts, check your status, upload supporting evidence and see all case correspondence.

You can submit Form I-130 online even if your relative is already in the United States and they plan to submit their Form I-485 by mail. You can also file Form I-130 by mail. If you live in the United States, you will need to confirm to which address to send your petition,

  1. Depending on which state you live in and whether or not your relative is filing Form I-485 as well, USCIS will require you to send to either the Dallas, Chicago or Phoenix Lockbox.
  2. From here, it will be processed at any of USCIS’ five service centers.
  3. If you live outside the United States, you may file at the USCIS Dallas Lockbox or online.

If there are special circumstances, you can request to file at the closest U.S. Embassy. Make sure you fill out all sections of the form and sign it, otherwise USCIS may reject it. 3. What are the fees for the I-130? An I-130 petition currently costs $535, paid using a check or credit card, using Form G-1450.

  1. However, that price could go up in 2023.
  2. Check out our USCIS fees guide for a full breakdown of the expected costs as well as updates on USCIS’ proposed fee increase. 4.
  3. Can I expedite processing for Form I-130? Premium Processing isn’t available for I-130 petitions, but you can send a special request to USCIS if you want to expedite processing for Form I-130.

USCIS will usually only consider the request if there are urgent humanitarian or U.S. government interests. 5. Who can file Form I-130? If you are a U.S. citizen, you can file Form I-130 for each of your eligible relatives. This includes your spouse, your children, your siblings, and your parents.

  1. If you are a permanent resident, you can petition for your spouse and any children under the age of 21.
  2. You can also petition for your stepchild if the marriage that created the relationship took place when the child was younger than 18. 6.
  3. What documents will I need to file Form I-130? When filing Form I-130, you will need to show evidence of your relationship to the relative you are petitioning for.

Some of the documents you may use to prove this include:

Evidence of U.S. citizenship or permanent residence, such as a birth certificate, naturalization or citizenship certificate, passport, or green card.

Evidence of family relationship, for example through a marriage certificate or birth certificate.

If you are petitioning for your spouse, you will need to provide additional evidence of your relationship and prove you have a bona fide marriage, Some ways you can do this include documentation that shows you own or rent property together, joint bank account statements, and affidavits from people who can confirm your relationship is authentic.

Proof of legal name change, if applicable.

7. My Form I-130 has been approved. What happens next? Once the I-130 has been approved, your relative can apply for their green card. If they are an immediate relative, such as a parent, spouse, or unmarried child under the age of 21, they may be able to apply straight away.

  1. Otherwise, they may have to wait.
  2. If they can apply immediately and they are in the United States, they may be able to adjust their status using Form I-485. 8.
  3. Will I need to go to a biometrics appointment for Form I-130? USCIS may request biometrics information from any applicant, sponsor, or petitioner.

After your file your I-130, you will receive Form I-797C from USCIS, which will let you know if your petition has been approved, rejected, or if you need to provide more information. If your I-130 has been approved, this form will also include an appointment notice with a date, time, and location for an appointment to provide biometrics information at your closest application support center.

9. What happens if my Form I-130 is denied? There are many reasons why an application may be denied. If USCIS denies your I-130 petition, you will receive Form I-797 (“Notice of Action”) in the mail. If you believe your I-130 was unfairly denied, you may be able to appeal to a separate body, the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO), within 30 days from when the notice was sent (not from when the notice was received).

10. How can I check my I-130 case status? You can track the processing of your case online using your 13-digit case receipt number, which can be found on any notification letter sent by USCIS. 11. Will I need an interview for my I-130? For most people petitioning with I-130, USCIS will invite the sponsor and the relative seeking a green card to attend an interview,

  1. During the interview, USCIS will confirm the information you have provided.
  2. Sometimes, USCIS might be able to approve your I-130 without the need for an interview.
  3. If you are a U.S.
  4. Citizen and you are filing for your parents, or unmarried children under the age of 21 who are in the United States and have filed Form I-485, then you might not need an interview.

You also may not need an interview if you are a permanent resident and you are petitioning for any of your children who are younger than 14 years old. 12. What if I am missing some of the documents for my I-130? If you do not have one of the primary documents required, such as a birth certificate, then you will need to submit a letter from the relevant authorities to confirm that this document does not exist.

  1. If you submit your petition and are missing any of the documents in your application in your I-130, then USCIS might send you a Request for Evidence (or RFE).
  2. However, there is also a chance that officials may deny an I-130 petition if some supporting documents are missing. 13.
  3. Will my relative be able to work after Form I-130 is filed? The I-130 is a petition to help a relative apply for a green card, and does not give the right to work.

The good news is that it’s the first step towards gaining permanent residency and the right to work in the United States, and that further down the process, your relative may be able to submit Form I-765 and apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD ).

14. Can I file I-130 and I-485 together? If you file Form I-130 and your relative is in the United States already, you may be able to file Form I-485 together. This process is called concurrent filing. If your relative isn’t an immediate relative, such as your spouse, your child or your parent, you may also need to confirm that there is a visa available for them before filing concurrently.

IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR SPOUSES OF GREEN CARD HOLDERS (March 24, 2023): The April 2023 Visa Bulletin has seen a considerable adjustment to the F-2A family-based category (Spouses and Unmarried Children (Under Age 21) of U.S. Green Card Holders). The “Final Action Dates” for these applications are no longer current due to an abundance of cases in the category.

  • Final Action Dates” refer to applications which have reached the front of the line and can now be processed.
  • Consequently, spouses and unmarried children of U.S.
  • Green card holders can still apply at this time, but won’t be able to proceed with their green card applications until the priority date is current.

For Mexican applicants, the “Final Action Date” (or priority date) has regressed to November 1, 2018 and for all other applicants, it has been set back to September 8, 2020. This development is likely to bring about increased wait times for green cards under the F-2A category.

Boundless will keep close watch on this issue — make sure to check out our monthly Visa Bulletin report for further updates. For Form I-130 and Form I-485 to be considered together, you’ll need to file them at the same time, by mailing them with the required filing fees and supporting documents to the same location.

They will also be considered as filed concurrently if you have filed Form I-130 either online or via mail, and it is still pending when your relative files Form I-485 to adjust their status. Since both of these forms are processed by USCIS, they are eligible for concurrent filing.

Generally, if your relative is not already in the United States, you will not be able to file to adjust status at the same time, since immigrant visas are dealt with by the Department of State. 15. Can I use Form I-130 for my spouse or fiancée? If you are petitioning for your fiancé(e), you will need to file Form I-129F (Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)), for them to be admitted to the United States as a K-1 nonimmigrant fiancé(e),

In rare cases, if you are a U.S. citizen petitioning for a green card for your non-U.S. citizen spouse, then Form I-130 is the first step to applying for a K-3 visa (“Nonimmigrant Visa for a Spouse”). 16. Will my relative be able to travel on an I-130? While the sponsor is waiting for the I-130 petition to be approved, the relative may be able to travel to the United States on a tourist visa, such as a visa waiver or a B-1/B-2 visitor visa,

However, it’s important they make it clear to immigrants when they enter that they will leave before this visa expires. If they cannot prove this, they may be denied entry. 17. Will Form I-130 still be approved if either myself or my relative has a criminal record? When you file an I-130 for your relative, USCIS may request an interview or biometric information, such as fingerprints or photographs, from both you and the applicant.

This is so they can run background and security checks. If the sponsor has a criminal record, there’s a good chance they will still be able to sponsor a relative coming to the United States. If the relative has a criminal record, they may also still be able to apply for a green card,

It’s important, to be honest about your criminal history, and to let USCIS know of any interactions with law enforcement (except for minor traffic violations). Having a police record can make things more complicated, but does not necessarily lead to a green card denial.18. Where should I send my I-130 form? Where you must send your I-130 petition depends on where you live and whether you’re filing just an I-130 (officially called a “standalone” I-130) or filing an I-130 with an I-485 green card application, or “Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status,” at the same time (officially called a “concurrent filing”).

(See this USCIS chart for the appropriate mailing address to send your I-130 petition.)

Are IOE cases processed faster?

Hello, everybody. Welcome back for our “former immigration officer Q&A.” I’m Erik Finch. I just want to emphasize again that I am not a lawyer, I am not a current government official, and none of the information that we talk about today is legal advice.

What I am is a manager here at Boundless Immigration and a former USCIS adjudicator and a former Department of State consular officer. We hold these Q&As just to have a chance to talk directly to folks who are interested in immigration and want to learn more about the process. I will be speaking purely on my own experiences and generalities around what I’ve learned about the immigration process.

None of this information is legal advice, and please don’t take it as specific to your case. So, let’s go ahead and get started. Which field office processes IOE code? IOE is the code. As we know, the three letters before your receipt number usually indicate the office or service center where your case is being processed.

In the case of the IOE code, I don’t actually know what that stands for or if it stands for anything, but, it means is that it was a digitally filed application. So, you filed it digitally, or in some cases, forms like the I-485, USCIS will take the paper application that you sent and then scan it and digitize it and turn it into a digital file for adjudication.

Those IOE forms mean that your case is being processed digitally, which is usually good news because those cases tend to flow through the system a bit faster. You don’t have to wait for them to move your file around. And at the point at which the adjudicator is ready to approve your case, they can simply do that in the system, and it will send an automated message to the green card processing and printing facility to go ahead and print and ship your green card.

That’s one thing that the USA has really been trying to push forward with is this modernization and digitalization of their process. And, if you get an Iowa receipt number, that indicates that you’re one of the people who are part of that process. The NVC asked for my W2 months ago. Do I send them the 2021 version now? Yes.

I think if you’re responding to an RFE, generally you want to give them the most up-to-date information. There are cases, like you say, around tax season where if you still have time to respond and you think you’ll have more up to date documents available, especially if you think they’ll be favorable to your case, it may be worth considering including that more up to date information inside the response.

But ultimately, only a lawyer could really tell you for sure whether that will be something that will be applicable to the RFE. I think in general, when it comes to RFE responses or providing information to USCIS, you want to be as thorough as possible, and that includes things that you think may help at the interview step.

If you want to bring some more up-to-date documents and things to show them on your financials or evidence of your relationship, I think that’s always helpful. Is there another way to expedite EADS if not in health care? This one is one I’m a little bit less familiar with.

I guess I’ll approach it two ways. Yes, there is the healthcare exception that’s in effect, and there is specific guidance from USCIS on how to pursue that expedited request. Now, behind that, there is a more general policy at USCIS about expediting requests that I think a lot of people are curious about, so I’ll say one thing and then I’ll say the other.

The actual policy around expediting requests is quite open. If you look at the website, they give you a number of criteria, like, “is it an urgent or humanitarian request” or is it some kind of family emergency? They basically tell you, hey, there’s this process.

  • You can reach out and plead your case.
  • But, what I will also tell you from having worked inside USCIS is that these expedite requests are rarely granted and usually only around humanitarian-type situations that we would recognize is pretty extreme.
  • People feel like if the explanation request is not granted, the petitioner may not still be alive, or if that’s the only chance for the beneficiary to see the petitioner in a relatively short amount of time.

So sometimes if the petitioner has a terminal illness, then the agency will look at that and say, okay, well, we do want these people to be able to say goodbye to each other and take that step in the process so they will look at that type of stuff. But yeah, what usually doesn’t pass are things like “I need to start a new job” or “I have some kind of academic program I want to get into” or things that are emergencies for people on a personal basis but don’t really constitute the kind of life and death criteria that USCIS would consider making an exception for.

  1. And also, I should say, the expedite request.
  2. Usually, the response is not super quick.
  3. This is one where I don’t think there’s really a set process around it.
  4. But sometimes if things are in the news, the agency will be more responsive than if it’s just sort of a personal matter that you’re trying to help them understand.

So, I just say that not to promote anybody to try to get their personal crises in the news, but just because that’s what I’ve seen in the past. In some cases, they’ve been responsive to the pressure that they get externally around certain types of controversial events or things when they’re denying people access to relatives or taking an absurdly long time processing a petition.

So, expedites are possible, but the only really specific scenario where they’re encouraging people to seek expedite requests right now as the EADS for healthcare workers. I think we can all understand why that would be one that they were prioritizing. How does USCIS track the couple’s finances, individual credit cards, and tax returns? I would say: taxes and tax filings, pay stubs and W2s, and bank accounts, I don’t just mean the general verification that you have a bank account, but the list of charges and things like that.

If they really want to see that a couple’s finances are intertwined, they’ll look at the accounts that they have and the bank account statements. If there’s a lot of activity and it looks like it’s like a sort of an account for daily use, then that carries more weight than an account that some money was put in and then nothing’s ever really been done with it.

  1. Yes, I think that with those three things combined, this is where the financial part of it bleeds over a little into the evidence or relationship part because they’re kind of looking for two things with your finances.
  2. It depends on what visa you’re applying for, but if the 864 form and that eligibility around public charge is part of your immigration process, then, yeah, they’re going to need to confirm that one of the people involved in the process, including possibly a joint sponsor, has the financial wherewithal to overcome that minimum requirement.

And then the other part where the finances come into play is what they call “commingling of finances,” which serves as evidence that you have a valid relationship. So, the thinking is that if two people say they’re married but have done zero effort to bring their financial worlds in sync by, like, having joint bank accounts and credit cards and things like that, then it doesn’t really seem very convincing that they’re in a legitimate relationship.

Now that’s a little bit of a generalization, and I think they’re open to discussion about how everybody is a little different. I know some members of my family or friends who are married have separate bank accounts and have one person’s name on certain documents and property and some of it’s on the other person’s name, but you would want to be able to talk them through that at your interview if that’s the case.

And if what you’re telling them in that scenario is in alignment with what your financial documents show, then usually that’s fine. It’s just one piece of evidence that they look at, in addition to other things. I think where people get into trouble is when they say “we’re married, we’re applying for a green card, but we don’t live together.

We have no joint bank accounts. We don’t share any finances. We don’t seem to have strong relationships with each other’s family or friends that would indicate that they have a social life or that they’re doing things together.” When all those things add up to a concern, then that’s when they start considering whether the relationship is even legitimate at all.

I hope that’s a bit of useful context. And yeah, credit card statements would work the same as bank account statements where they see that there’s a lot of activity and daily use of those credit cards that are held by both parties. That would also work to prove the commingling of finances.

How will USCIS respond to expedite work authorization for healthcare workers? This one I’m a little fuzzy about because I haven’t dealt with this process directly. I would imagine that once the request is put in, you’ll receive some kind of like, I-797 “notice of action” that indicates their processing or reviewing your expedite request.

And then, ideally, you would just be placed in an expedited queue and received an actual employment authorization document sooner than you would have otherwise. This would be sort of like DACA, where I think if people meet the criteria for the expedite, they would get it, and then that process would work.

  • I don’t really have good timelines for this because it’s pretty specific to health care workers, but the fact that this is a specific exception that they’ve made and encouraged people to apply for, I would imagine that it goes pretty quickly.
  • I mean, there are some processes at USCIS that can get through in a few months, and this would likely be one of them.

So sorry not to have more detailed information on that, but that’s a little bit of a newer program and something that I didn’t have a lot of exposure to. How are the F2A petitions going? How long is the process taking? So, a couple of different things to discuss here.

For people who are less familiar, the F2A is a preference-based visa category for the spouses and children of legal permanent residents and green cardholders. Yes, there are not a lot of immigration petitions that green card holders can file. US citizens are primarily the ones who are able to petition for immigration benefits for their foreign relatives and spouses, but in the case of the spouse and child, yes, even a green card holder can apply for that.

But there’s a cap, and that’s why it’s a preference-based category. I think this question could theoretically be addressing two different parts of that, right. One is, what is the wait time? As we all know, preference-based categories, “the adult children of US citizens, the married children of US citizens, the spouses and children of LPRs, the unmarried adult children of LPRs, the married brothers and sisters of US citizens,” can all be applied for, but they have yearly caps, they have country-based quotas.

  1. And for that reason, over time, in some cases, those queues, those lines can get quite long.
  2. For example, for the adult siblings of US citizens from Mexico, it’s about a 25-year wait from the time you file your petition until the time that you get to your place in line where you can actually file for your visa or adjustment of status.

Now, that’s an extreme example, but there are a number of preference-based family categories, especially now when there’s such a backlog that’s been created by the pandemic, have gotten quite long in some cases. This affects employment-based visa applicants as well.

So, in the case of F2A, I think the good news is that we want to preserve and reunite families, spouses and children of people, and green card holders living in the US. Yes, they deserve to be with their immediate family, and that’s something that the law tends to preserve. So, for the most part, F2A petitions, look at the Visa Bulletin, and they should still be current for most countries.

On that Visa Bulletin, you can see the wait times for all the preference-based categories: family and employment-based. It’s a little confusing of a web page to navigate, but essentially, it’ll tell you the date that you had to have entered the line, started the process, and filed your petition in order to now be able to at this particular month, go ahead and start the actual visa application.

  • So, I’m looking at F2A, and it says “C,” which means current, which means that anybody who files a petition can immediately file a visa application or adjustment of status application along with that petition.
  • So that’s good news.
  • For spouses and children of LPRs, that means that, essentially, at least temporarily, while these dates stay current, they are able to basically apply as if they’re immediate relative category and go ahead and go through the whole process that way.

Now, that being said, I’m not sure if this question is asking how long the petition process takes or not. It’s a little ambiguous, so I’ll just quickly touch on two other aspects of wait time. One is “how fast is the process taking for the petition once it’s filed?” F2A petitions end up going through a different process, but it’s one I-130 form.

It’s the same form that’s filed for virtually all the family-based petitions. I think that’s taking about eight to twelve months for most folks right now, so that would be about the time that it took to get the petition approved. And then depending on whether the foreign spouse was overseas or in the US, one of two things will happen.

You would file for a visa appointment. You’ll be contacted by the National Visa Center to set up an appointment for the interview at the US embassy in the foreign country. Or you would be able to go ahead again. Since they’re current, you could theoretically have filed your I-485 along with the F2A petition.

And then you would have to wait an additional few months for your interview to be scheduled at a USCIS field office for the preference-based categories. If you exclude or the wait time that it takes in order for you to be current or you are current, it will function mostly on the same timelines that the similar immediate relative petition would take to process through the USCIS process.

Green card holder and citizen. What is the difference to apply for spouse? The processing time is different for these two cases to get approval for the I-130. So, we covered a little bit of this in the prior question, but yeah, it’s a different process.

  1. US citizens are able to file for their spouse as what we call “immediate relative category,” an IR-1 or an IR-6 if they’re adjusting in the US.
  2. Those have no caps or no quotas.
  3. They simply file their I-130 and their I-485 at the same time.
  4. There’s no wait for currency; there’s no queue.
  5. It just takes as long as it takes to process through the USCIS process, which I think it varies a lot.

And we’ve talked about this before on these Q&As, but assuming your field office is caught up, I think usually it takes about a year. I think when I left the Portland field office, that was about the turnaround time to receive an interview for a pretty simple immediate relative application.

  1. LPRs are technically applying for that F2A visa we just discussed.
  2. And again, assuming it’s current, they’re able to apply the same way.
  3. One interesting thing is, I do feel like for various reasons, the F2A process is slightly faster than the IR-1 process, assuming that they were current and didn’t have a built-in delay.

We would see those F2A applications come through fairly quickly. And also, the nice thing about the F2A is if you have a child, you don’t have to file an additional I-485 for the child like you do for a US citizen immediate relative application. The F2A can just put the children on the I-130 and then receive the visas off the I-485 for what they call the primary applicant.

So, yeah, sorry, that’s a small technicality that maybe seems like a bigger deal from my point of view, but there is a kind of interesting difference between the two processes. And it feels like it makes that process slightly faster for LPR F2A applicants sometimes. But yeah, the processing time for the I-130 should be similar.

So, you would get that approval notice. And then there are some cases where F2As get looked at for different things at different offices, and those timelines can vary a little bit. And, of course, we also have to remember that the actual field office where you’re going have their own backlogs and wait times.

So, we’ve talked about this before. In some of the bigger cities, like Seattle or New York or parts of California, you may have an additional several months of wait time just to get scheduled for an appointment, whereas if you’re in an area where the field office is smaller or the applicant pool is smaller, you might be able to get the actual appointment for your interview much faster.

Yeah, I realize that’s kind of an ambiguous answer. I know it’s very difficult sometimes to really think through all the different things that are coming, all the different sorts of processing time, etc. But yeah, I think the general hope is that people’s spouses, in particular, can get through the process from start to finish in like twelve to 16 months.

  • And I feel like that’s still most of the time how it goes.
  • Background checks? This is one I’m going to be very circumspect about because this is a process that’s a little more sensitive, but just to refer directly to what is in the actual law and what things they’re checking for with folks.
  • USCIS is a little bit more limited in what kind of background checks they can do on American citizens.

American citizens have various laws to protect their privacy and things like that. Now, in order to be eligible to file for foreign citizens to get immigration benefits, there is some degree of information that you have to divulge to the agency. There are questions about certain types of offenses that they’ve determined could potentially put the person that you’re petitioning for in danger.

  • That is something that they’ll ask about and look for, but they don’t collect.
  • There was an attempt, I think, a couple of years ago to introduce a scenario where they would collect fingerprints and other biometrics from the actual US citizen petitioner.
  • I don’t think they were successful in pushing that forward.

There was some resistance to that in Congress and things like that. So really, what they’re checking the sponsor or the petitioner for are some very specific things such as violence against women and children, making sure that there’s nothing in their criminal history that would serve as an indicator that the people that they’re trying to petition for could be put in danger.

  • The beneficiary, it’s much more comprehensive, and they’re going to look and ask questions about pretty much all of your criminal history, even including fairly minor things.
  • And they’ll do that in various ways.
  • They’ll take fingerprints, and they’ll ask for police records from countries that you’ve lived in overseas to see if there’s any official documentation of anything that you’ve done before.

They’ll look at certain international databases and things that they have access to to see if there have been any problems anywhere else that they need to be aware of. And they’ll ask you questions. It’s important that you tell the factual and honest truth about criminal history, regardless of whether they already have access to the information or not, because you have to remember that you’re starting an immigration process that will involve multiple extra steps and anything that they uncover each of these times that you’re put in front of a consular officer or you’re having a discussion with a US official that’s sort of on the record.

And if they discover later that there was something that wasn’t disclosed or they get access to some information that you didn’t talk about or reveal, then not only can they get you in trouble and deny the application, but they could roll back a lot of the other things that were given, including green cards and past travel visas, making it very difficult for you to successfully receive any other immigration benefit in the future.

F11 visas? (Unmarried sons and daughters of US citizens.) One of the more confusing things that exist in the immigration system, the family-based immigration system, is “what’s going on with children?” How do we define it? What are the ages? What happens when people get married? When are they eligible for certain visas and when does that change? And it’s a complicated discussion.

And honestly, it’s quite confusing even for people who’ve done consular and immigration work for a long time. But in short, and it’s also somewhat confusing because the definition of a child changes depending on whether you’re doing citizenship-related things or visa, non-migrant, and immigrant visa-related things, but generally it’s a person under 21.

Again, not for citizenship, but for most visa processes, it’s unmarried persons under 21. It can be your stepchild, your adopted child, or your natural child. And the problem that people run into in a lot of cases is these immigration processes take so long that the status of the child can change while you’re waiting for certain dates to hit or things to become current.

And then the question becomes “well, now my child is growing up or starting their own family, but we still want to immigrate together.” When does that status change and how does it change? Because when the child is younger and unmarried, it’s quite simple, right? If they have those relationships that I talked about before and they’re under 21, then at whatever point their parent becomes the recipient of an immigrant visa process and finds a US petitioner, then they sort of get added onto those petitions and they’re able to apply for visas alongside their parents.

But yeah, it changes in a couple of different ways at different points. So, say you entered this process and then you have a five-year wait, and in that time, your child is about to turn 22. There is something called the Child Status Protection Act, which gives them some limited protection.

  • So, as you get closer to the end of the process, if you’re going to miss it by like six months, sometimes they’ll just stop the child’s clock at 21.
  • If you’ve already submitted your application, your either your actual visa application, or adjustment status, then that will help them there.
  • And then they won’t change status and have to go into a different category that doesn’t exist for K-2s.

It is a hard-limited 21 and marriage for the children of fiancé visa recipients that does have to take place before the child is 21. And then the other thing is if that protection doesn’t exist or we exceed 21, then what happens then? And then it becomes a question of like, is the child married or unmarried? And then there’s a category, and this is what the question referred to, the unmarried son or daughter of a US citizen.

  1. At 21, they changed from a “child” to a “son or daughter.” At that point, there are different categories for them and different wait times.
  2. Right now, for most people in the world, the currency date for an F-1, which would be an unmarried son or daughter, is 1 December 14, which means there’s roughly an eight-year wait from the time that you file your petition to the time that adult now child, unmarried child is able to then file for their visa or file for adjustment status.

That’s a long time. If you turn 22 and your age out and then you’re in this category, you can wait another eight years before it’s your turn to go ahead and get that visa, too. And this does happen to some people. And then if you get married, then it changes again, right? And then it’s married sons or daughters of us citizens.

In that case, for most countries, the currency date is 22 November 2008. So now you’re waiting 14 years for your child to be able to come and join you and get their green card that way. So, yeah, you can see that it becomes quite a big thing for a lot of families because that will lead to quite a long separation.

And especially for folks who are just in their 20s and starting to build their own family, being away from their parents for that long can be quite difficult. There is a lot of pressure and urgency in a lot of these cases for people to get this process done in a way that their children will be able to come with them, even if their children are already over 18 and starting to kind of strike out on their own.

  1. So, yeah, I’m happy to talk about that more in the future, if there are future questions, but we’re going to go ahead and wrap up for today.
  2. I appreciate everyone taking the time.
  3. I also want to say that if you like what you’re hearing and you want to know more, then we have a ton of great resources and content on Boundless about all these processes, so, I encourage you to look there.

Please keep talking to us about the questions that you have and we’ll keep featuring them on this event and try to answer them in a complete way as possible. So, thank you very much. Bye.

How long does it take to verify immigration status?

History –

SAVE is an acronym for Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements. It is a Department of Homeland Security/United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) program. It retrieves data from multiple databases to verify a non-citizen’s lawful status in the U.S. Georgia state law requires DDS to verify all immigration documents presented by non-citizens via SAVE prior to issuing a driver’s license/permit/ID card (O.C.G.A. §40-5-21.1). In most cases, the verification can be completed immediately during the applicant’s driver’s license/permit/ID card transaction. In some cases, verification can take several days. Until the documentation is verified by USCIS, DDS cannot issue a driver’s license/permit/ID card. SAVE Awareness