The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is infamous for its lengthy processing timeframes for family and employment-related visas, as well as green card applications, making some applicants wait months or even years for a decision. An yearly quota limit, your country of citizenship and sometimes even your last name can affect how long it takes to process your immigration case. Familiar last names like Kim, Lee, Nguyen, or Hernandez, for instance, may require more time to process, if the application calls for a background check.
The already overcrowded USCIS immigration system has been seeing standard processing times increase as a result of COVID-19. At the end of 2019, USCIS reported a backlog of 2.5 million cases. Owing to personnel concerns, modifications to forms and procedures, the closing of several offices due to the pandemic, as well as the inability to process several applications electronically by the end of 2021, the overall backlog of cases had increased to more than 8 million.
USCIS is aware that applicants occasionally face circumstances that make it challenging to settle for the usual processing time. In this article we will provide the seven ways you can request for a quicker application judgment if this happens to you.
1. Submit an expedited request
Requesting an expedited request from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is one of the first steps you can do to reduce time and accelerate your immigration process. However, you should be able to demonstrate that your request is justified. According to USCIS, you need supporting paperwork that demonstrates the following in order to be eligible to submit an expedited request:
- Significant financial loss to either a business or individual– Provided that the requirement for immediate action isn’t brought on by the petitioner’s or applicant’s inability to:
- timely submit your benefit request, or
- timely respond to every request for more supporting documentation;
- Emergency situations & urgent humanitarian reasons – The USCIS does not have a formal definition of what constitutes an urgent case, since urgent humanitarian reasons remain arbitrary. However, USCIS can grant your expedited request if you can demonstrate a dire humanitarian circumstance with solid proof. War breaking out, a serious disease, or a bad financial condition are a few examples.
- A non – profit organization – (as defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)) which requests advances the social and cultural objectives of the US.
- U.S. government interest – USCIS is very likely to accept your request for an expedited case if your application has some bearing on U.S. national interests, state interests, or public safety. Requests for accelerated processing must be made on your behalf by U.S. government organizations or departments, for instance, the Department of Defense or the Department of Homeland Security. The U.S. government should demonstrate that a backlog in processing the application harms a situation of national importance or poses a threat to national security interests in some way.
- Clearly identified USCIS error – On occasion, USCIS will err when processing your immigration application. You will have a better chance of getting your expedite request approved if USCIS made a mistake that caused you to waste valuable time in status. To prove that USCIS erred, solid evidence must be presented. Use of wrong dates, which shortens the validity term for your status, or utilizing an improper entry date are examples of critical errors.
USCIS has the only authority to approve or reject a request for faster expedite processing after carefully considering each individual case. Only after obtaining a reception notice from a filing with a regular processing period can you submit a request because approved requests are uncommon.
The following are typical grounds for rejecting expedited requests:
- If you’re submitting an H-1B visa application, for instance, your case qualifies for premium processing.
- You submit your request or application outside the time allotted for the usual processing.
- A request demonstrating that you submitted a Employment Authorization Document (EAD) while on a student visa or any other form of visa, and that you want to use it to gain status or get other advantages.
- Failing to offer any convincing proof or documents to back up your request.
Below are the steps that you need to know in making an expedited request.
How to Make an Expedite Request
- Get a USCIS Receipt Notice. The Receipt Number listed on your Form I-797C Notice of Action must be provided. You will not be able to ask an expedite without its number.
- Get in touch with the USCIS Contact Center. Calling USCIS will allow you to request speed up, expedite processing. You should ask to talk with such Tier 1 or Tier 2 officer throughout this contact, not the USCIS customer service representative. This officer will draft a service request and send it to the department in charge of your petition.
- Obtain a Service Request Number. Following the creation of the service request, you ought to get an automated email including a Request Number for your expedited service. Only your processing expedite request’s status can be tracked using this number.
- Submit Documentation. You might be asked to submit supporting paperwork for your expedite request by the reviewing officer. Usually, automated emails will be used to send these papers. Your petition number will be moved to the front of the line once your request for expedite service has been reviewed.
If you’re successful, your petition can be decided to improve considerably faster, and quicker than it would now.
2. USCIS Online Case Inquiry
The USCIS website allows applicants to raise a case inquiry if they are encountering forms delays that go beyond the service center wherein their applications were submitted to the standard processing period.
Following receipt of such service request, USCIS will send an automated email identifying any problems with applicants’ case and outlining potential solutions within 21 calendar days.
Please be aware that within a 30-day window, applicants may only submit a one-case enquiry.
Submitting an online inquiry is a good approach to grab USCIS’s attention, despite the fact that it cannot guarantee that your request will be expedited.
Additionally, you get additional information about the status of your case than what is displayed on the USCIS case tracking system.
3. Premium Processing
Premium processing is not possible with family-based visas; it only applies to some employment-based visas. For Forms I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, & I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, premium processing offers accelerated processing.
Premium processing offers a 15-day processing guarantee or a refund of the premium processing cost. Right now, the cost of this service ranges from $1440 to $2500 on Form I-907 and from $1440 to $1500 for Form I-129. Without a strong justification, such as a family emergency, a military operation, or a medical treatment, USCIS will not allow premium processing.
Following receipt of Form I-907, Requests for Premium Processing, by USCIS, the 15-day premium processing period begins. They will then make their decision during that interval. After you respond, another 15 calendar day timeframe will start if you get a request for more proof or a notice of intent to refuse.
4. Representatives in Congress
Congressmen are permitted to speak with federal agencies in behalf of those they represent. They won’t be able to overturn or alter any decisions, but they can help bring attention to a particular problem, which may draw attention to any delays or bureaucracy. You will be required to give the same supporting documentation that you would send to USCIS when speaking with your agent in order to speed up the processing of your application.
Regarding your expedited request, USCIS Congressional Liaison Specialists communicate with Congress directly. Even if a member of Congress takes up the expedited request, USCIS must still accept it in order for it to be granted.
The Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman (CIS Ombudsman), established under the Homeland Security Act, may expedite, speed up your case and assist you if USCIS is unable to aid you. Assistance with cases from the USCIS Ombudsman is free of charge.
CIS Ombudsman is “committed to increasing the quality of immigration and citizenship services given to the public by offering individual case help, identifying systemic concerns, and offering recommendations to enhance the management of immigration rights by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS),” according to USCIS.
When your case remains being processed by the USCIS or if USCIS has rejected your request for expedited processing, the CIS Ombudsman’s Office cannot speak up on your behalf. Additionally, they lack the jurisdiction to decide a case or overturn a USCIS decision until the latter was made due to a mistake or improper use of the law by USCIS.
6. Process reshuffle
To improve or increase efficiency, USCIS began to move I-130 petitions as well as I-485 green card requests to service facilities offering lower streamline and wait times periods in 2020. Your immigration approval issue may therefore be resolved faster, quicker and without your involvement. Where you originally filed your papers and the turnarounds at the service center wherein your case is being processed will determine how the reorganization affects you.
The following cases are impacted by the shuffle:
- I-130 petitions submitted to the Nebraska Service Center by American citizens acting on behalf of members of their immediate family;
- I-130 petitions submitted to the California Service Center by holders of permanent residency in support of their children or spouse; or
- I-485 requests for green cards submitted to the Vermont Service Center.
Your service center handling the request is where you must submit any premium processing requests once the case has been moved, along with a copy of your receipt notification. However, USCIS asserts that you won’t have to wait any longer if your case has been forwarded toward a service center with a longer than usual application processing time.
7. Hire a lawyer
To avoid paying fees, many petitioners try to file their applications. However, this raises the possibility that they will be declined or delayed. The immigration procedure is not always simple, and you need a professional to guide you through all the different loopholes, exceptions, as well as policy changes. An efficient immigration lawyer is knowledgeable about the rules that are relevant to your case and keeps abreast of any developments that might have an impact on your petition.
Managing your case solo may lead to clerical mistakes, missing documents, or incorrect filings, which would result in unnecessary delays. You may be confident that you’re working with a qualified professional who will apply tried-and-true tactics to handle your case promptly and effectively by selecting a reputed immigration lawyer.
Requests to speed up immigration cases are frequently turned down, especially when there are significant backlogs. However, it’s critical to remember that every USCIS decision is made by a human. Your issue must be unique and captivating enough to engage their emotions, as well as supported by strong documentation and proof, in order to stand out and have a better chance of being accepted. Just keep in mind that the USCIS official may have received dozens of requests from individuals in like circumstances. Of course, this also helps if you have a team of knowledgeable immigration lawyers on your side to make sure the validity of your request’s justification and also to provide or support you with advice and guidance.
Seeking Help With Your US Immigration Processing?
The procedure of immigrating to the United States is not always simple. The laws are a little complicated, so it helps to engage with an immigration lawyer to assist you for faster response.
Contact SYG Law Firm if you require the assistance of a skilled immigration attorney to aid you with your case preparation. Our main area of expertise is immigration law. With regards to any kind of immigration case, we have years of experience.
When putting up a visa application, timeframe is essential. We complete the preparation of all of your paperwork within two business days after receiving them.
We are aware of how challenging it can be to locate a reliable lawyer. Due to this, we provide free case evaluations during which we talk everything about your application process as well as what we could do to assist, provide tips, step, as well as support you throughout your submission.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to book your consultation or appointment now or call us at (951) 595-7127.
For more information on how https://syglaw.com/ can help you on your Immigration Process, please contact us at (951) 595-7127, or visit us here:
27450 Ynez Rd Suite 210, Temecula, CA 92591, United States