The US governing administration has drawn an important decision concerning the backlogs of cases in the immigration process. This has proven that the urgency to reduce the case backlogs in the lines of visa processing has finally reached the authorities, especially the economic impact and consequences it has had on the other US employees.
Lynden Mehmed, an eminent USCIS lawyer during the administration of George Bush, had pointed out, ” At a time where every company is struggling to find workers, it is rubbing salt to a wound to have to terminate a worker because the government can’t process a four-page application in over a year,” which signified the deplorable state of the pending status of application processing and why there is a dire need to elevate the speed of the procedure.
The effects of this tedious time of immigration application processing are graver than it seems to be. Immigrants have had to wait up to a year for their permits and sanctioned immigration applications, which have affected their employment, education, and other concerning areas that require the necessary permit.
The pandemic has, in turn, created a major fiscal crisis leading to the deportations of almost 1.7 million immigrants that remain unresolved and the backlog of almost 400,000 visa applicants waiting for US consulate interviews, which, by the way, have been limited by the epidemic.
The USCIS measures taken up to regulate the backlogs of immigration applications within a stipulated period of time are as follows :
- Expansion of Premium processing: If the applicants wish to expedite the process of reviewing their application cases within 45 days, they are to pay a sum of $2,500 in addition to the fees. This liberty is extended to H-1B petitions and certain requests for employment-based green cards, work permits, and extension requests for temporary immigration. It is expected that Premium processing will gradually be extended to more work-based immigration procedures.
- Lengthening of automatic work permit extensions for immigrants who were previously affected by the delays in authorization to renew their work permits. Although several eligible work permit holders can enjoy the facility of having their renewals automatically extended up to 180 days, countless immigrants are waiting for renewals for even up to 10 months.
- Hiring more caseworkers and ameliorating technologies associated with processing and adjudication of applications. As per agency data, there are ample vacancies for suitable job roles; therefore, with more caseworkers, the requests for work permit extensions, travel permits, extensions in temporary status, or appropriate changes can be catered to more conveniently. It can be then hoped that the reviewing process can be accomplished within three months. And by estimation, better technologies for adjudication of applications will be set up by 2023.
The USCIS has been recommended to adjudicate other documents and applications – US citizenship, renewals of the policy of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and green card requests sponsored by family members or employers within a period of 6 months.