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.

5. Ombudsman

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 card 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.


Expedited Case Processing: What Is It?

USCIS processes many immigration benefit requests. The length of time it takes to complete your application varies based on the type of application you submit and the volume of work at the USCIS office, which decides whether to approve or refuse your case. The typical case processing timelines for USCIS have increased because of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

When USCIS processes your application more efficiently, simpler, and less time-consuming than usual, it’s known as expedited case processing. When you require info from USCIS about your case as soon as possible and deal with emergencies or abrupt shifts in your personal life, expedited processing can be quite beneficial.

When Do I Expedite My USCIS Case?

Requests for expediting processes are decided upon case-by-case by USCIS. All applicants are welcome to send USCIS a request for a case expedited. Nonetheless, USCIS uses particular standards to determine if an expedited request would be appropriate in the applicant’s case. Following USCIS policy, you must provide supporting documents to demonstrate that your case meets one of the following requirements for expedited processing:

Clear USCIS Error

Occasionally, while processing your immigration application, USCIS makes a mistake. USCIS is more likely to grant your request if you can demonstrate that a mistake on their part caused you to lose your time in status. 

Important errors include entering dates that are off, which shortens the time that your status is valid. You can file a complaint if, for instance, USCIS issues someone a green card with an eight-year expiration date rather than the usual ten. You can expect USCIS to grant your request for faster processing if you can provide evidence that it was USCIS, not the applicant or petitioner, who made a mistake.

Urgent Humanitarian Reasons

If you feel compelled to do so on urgent humanitarian grounds, you may request expedited processing. There is no formal definition of what constitutes an urgent case by USCIS. However, USCIS may grant your streamlined request if you can demonstrate that you are in what could be considered a serious humanitarian emergency. Examples consist of but aren’t restricted to, a sudden, serious sickness that necessitates your stay in the United States or a conflict breaking out in your place of origin. 

Severe Financial Loss On A Person Or Company

If you can demonstrate that a company or person will incur significant financial losses if USCIS does not decide on your case as soon as possible, USCIS may speed up the processing of your case. An example of the kind of circumstance in which USCIS may expedite your case is as follows: 

Imagine being a member of a nonprofit organization that requires your presence on its board to apply for grants and obtain funds. You won’t hear back from USCIS until that grant application expires. Without you on the team, the organization won’t be able to secure the grant, and if it is not awarded, the nonprofit will face serious financial issues. USCIS will probably permit you to expedite this case, as doing so will not hurt a U.S. company.

You will be responsible for demonstrating that you promptly filed your application and complied with any Requests for Evidence (RFEs) that USCIS has issued concerning your case. Suppose they don’t provide you with an update on the status of your application as soon as possible. In that case, USCIS will review your supporting documentation to demonstrate the potential damage to someone or a company and determine if you or a business you represent will suffer a significant financial loss. 

Compelling U.S. Government Interests

Your application is likely to be approved for case expediting by USCIS if it directly affects public safety, government interests, or the national interests of the United States. You do not submit an expedited request on your own in this case. The relevant U.S. government entity or agency will submit the request for expedited processing on your behalf. The Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), or another government agency could be the entity in question. The United States government must demonstrate that a hold-up in processing the application jeopardizes national security interests or negatively affects a national interest situation.

Common Delays in Immigration Process

Delays in the immigration process are not uncommon and can arise from various factors, often causing frustration and uncertainty for applicants. Understanding these common delays can help individuals better navigate the immigration journey. Here are some of the most prevalent reasons for delays:

1. Incomplete Documentation – One of the primary causes of delays is the submission of incomplete or inaccurate documentation. Immigration applications typically require a plethora of paperwork, including passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, financial records, and more. If any required documents are missing or incorrect, it can significantly slow down the processing of the application as immigration officers may need to request additional information or clarification.

2. Backlogs and Processing Times – Immigration offices face backlogs due to the high volume of applications they receive, limited resources, or changes in policies and procedures. These backlogs can lead to longer processing times, especially during peak application periods or significant shifts in immigration policies.

3. Security Clearances and Background Checks – Stringent security clearances and background checks are essential components of the immigration process, particularly for visas or residency statuses that involve national security concerns. Delays can occur if complications or discrepancies in an applicant’s background require further investigation.

4. Interview Scheduling – Some immigration applications may require applicants to attend an interview as part of the process. Delays can arise if there are scheduling conflicts or limited availability of interview slots, especially in regions with high demand for immigration services.

5. Biometric Data Collection – Several countries are now asking applicants to supply biometric information, such as fingerprints and pictures, as part of the immigration process. Delays may occur if there are technical issues with the biometric collection equipment or if applicants do not finish this stage promptly.

6. Requests for Additional Information – Immigration officers may request additional information or documentation to verify an applicant’s eligibility or address any concerns. Delays can occur if applicants do not promptly provide the requested information or if there are difficulties in obtaining the necessary documents.

7. Legal or Procedural Challenges – Changes in immigration laws, regulations, or procedures can also lead to delays in the processing of applications. Applicants may need to adapt to new requirements or navigate complex legal procedures, which can prolong the overall timeline.

8. Personal Circumstances – Individual circumstances, such as medical issues, family emergencies, or changes in marital status, can also cause delays in the immigration process. These factors may require additional documentation or administrative processing, further extending the processing time.

Navigating through these common delays requires patience, diligence, and proactive communication with immigration authorities. Applicants should ensure that they provide all required documentation accurately and promptly respond to any requests for additional information to minimize delays and facilitate a smoother immigration process.


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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some FAQs about the immigration process:

Q. Will I need a travel document during the immigration process?

Depending on your circumstances and the stage of the immigration process, you may need a travel document such as a visa or temporary residence permit to travel to your destination country or to facilitate international travel while your immigration application is being processed.

Q. What documents do I need for the immigration process?

You will typically need a valid passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable), educational transcripts, and any other relevant documents specified by the immigration authorities.

Q. How long does the immigration process take?

The timing for immigration processing varies depending on the country to which you are coming, the type of visa or residency you are asking for, and the immigration offices’ present workload. It might last from a few months to several years.

Q. Do I need to attend an interview as part of the immigration process?

In some cases, applicants are required to attend an interview as part of the immigration process. This interview allows immigration officers to assess the applicant’s eligibility, intentions, and qualifications.

Q. What is included in the immigration checklist?

The immigration checklist typically includes all the documents and forms required for your immigration application. It serves as a guide to ensure that you have gathered everything necessary before submitting your application.

Q. Will I need to provide biometrics, such as fingerprints, during the immigration process?

Several countries now require applicants to produce biometrics as part of their immigration procedure. Fingerprints, photos, and other biometric data are collected to verify the applicant’s identification.

Q. What criteria are used to assess immigration applications?

Immigration applications are assessed based on various criteria, including the applicant’s background, qualifications, intentions, criminal history (if any), and whether they meet the eligibility requirements for the visa or residency category they’re applying for.

Q. Can I immigrate to another country on the basis of a family member’s immigration status?

Some countries offer family-based immigration programs that allow individuals to immigrate based on their relationship to a family member who is already a citizen or permanent resident of that country.

Q. What happens to my immigration application if I experience the death of a family member?

If you experience the death of a family member during the immigration process, you may need to notify the immigration authorities and provide documentation to update your application accordingly. The impact on your green card application will depend on the specific circumstances and the policies of the immigration agency.

Q. What does adjudication mean in the context of immigration?

Adjudication refers to the process of reviewing and making decisions on immigration applications. During adjudication, immigration officers assess the applicant’s eligibility, review supporting documents, and determine whether to approve or deny the application.

Q. What are the living conditions like during the immigration process?

Living conditions during the immigration process can vary depending on factors such as whether you’re applying from within the country or abroad, your financial resources, and the support network available to you. Some applicants may experience temporary housing challenges or cultural adjustments during the immigration process.

Q. Do I need a processing service to help with my immigration application?

While hiring a processing service or immigration consultant is optional, many applicants choose to enlist professional assistance to navigate the complexities of the immigration process, ensure that their application is complete and accurate, and increase their chances of success.

Q. Will I need a travel document during the immigration process?

Depending on your circumstances and the stage of the immigration process, you may need a travel document such as a visa or temporary residence permit to travel to your destination country or to facilitate international travel while your immigration application is being processed.

Q. Is there a way to check the status of my immigration application online?

Yes, many countries offer online portals or systems where you can check the status of your immigration application. These portals typically require you to log in using your application reference number or other identifying information provided when you submitted your application. Through the online portal, you can track the progress of your application, receive updates, and sometimes even upload additional documents if requested by immigration authorities.

Q. Can hiring an immigration attorney help expedite the process?

Yes, hiring an immigration attorney can often help expedite the process. They can provide expert guidance, ensure that your application is complete and accurate, navigate any legal complexities, and advocate on your behalf with immigration authorities. Their knowledge and experience can streamline the process and increase the likelihood of a successful outcome.

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 can help you on your Immigration Process, please contact us at (951) 595-7127, or visit us here:

SYG Law Firm, Inc.

27450 Ynez Rd Suite 210, Temecula, CA 92591, United States

(951) 595-7127

Immigration Lawyer in Temacula, CA

Contents show