Subhan Tariq, Esq
The New Year Sees Delays at USCIS
It's a new year; however, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) are still dealing with the crush of applications which were sent in at the end of last year.
The twin events of the rise of most immigration filing fees, which occurred on December 23, 2016 and the possible policy shifts which some are expecting as the result of recent elections have resulted in a higher than usual number of immigration applications to USCIS in the past two months. As a result of this end of the year crush a number of functions of USCIS have been running at slower than normal rates recently.
In particular, the sending out of physical receipt notices, which in the recent past had been received by filers within one to two weeks of receipt by USCIS now seem to take between three to four weeks to be received. Electronic receipt notices seem to be less effected by this than physical copies but seem to still be slower than is normal. Further,
the processing of other petitions, particularly work authorization petitions and travel document requests also have been taking longer to process than normal.
This means that if you have recently filed a petition with USCIS or are planning to file a petition within the next month or so then you should probably expect some filing and communication delays when dealing with USCIS. Hopefully these issues will quickly resolve themselves over the coming weeks.