USCIS to Address Employment-Based Green Card Wait Time

Mike Aytes, USCIS Acting Deputy Director, today posted on the DHS Leadership Journal to address employment-based visa wait times. He explained basically how the visa number system works, and went on to say this:

A few months ago, a customer indicated his frustration that while he can monitor the Visa Bulletin to see how it moves month to month, he still has no idea how many people are waiting in line with pending adjustment applications or how long it may be before USCIS can process and approve his application. We know this customer is not alone! In response to that customer’s request, we are working to make this information available on our Web site.

If this gets implemented, it will be huge. It will help all the I-485 applicants understand where they stand in the queue, and approximately how far they have to go before their I-485 will be processed. Instead of simply reading the visa bulletin, they will know what those visa cut-off dates mean to them personally.

In theory, USCIS already has all the information available to make this happen. They have a huge database tracking every case, which contains priority dates and the EB categories they belong to. DOS, on the other hand, knows how many visas are available per year, and how many have been used so far. If you put the two together, you will have a much better visa bulletin that not only shows cut-off dates, but how many cases before those dates are still pending . At this point USCIS may even be able to add an estimate of wait time based on their average processing speed.

But in reality there are many complicating factors, such as USCIS processing variations, center to center differences, visa tally issues, etc. So expect some glitches and road bumps along the way. We sincerely appreciate USCIS taking the initiatives to address this important issue, and hope to see the result in the near future.

This example goes on to say that we need to speak up more than we already have. Your suggestions and complaints may be ignored by the USCIS 99 out of 100 times, but if you don’t speak, the chance of being heard is absolutely zero.

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