USCIS Moves Applications to Lower Wait Times

Credit: gemenacom

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is set to transfer cases from its busiest offices to other, less burdened offices in order to attempt to alleviate wait times. While USCIS has always been well-known for their long wait times, with those who filed applications to adjust status to that of permanent resident or even to become a citizen sometimes waiting over a year for their applications to clear. In order to help with those wait times, USCIS has begun the process of transferring cases from overburdened offices to those with a more manageable caseloads. They will evaluate the cities with the most pending immigration applications, such as St. Paul, Minnesota, Miami, Florida, or Houston, Texas, and move those to other offices. It is unclear whether this move would do much to actually improve the wait times for applications, but immigrant advocates are at the very least praising the decision to do something to alleviate the problem. This comes amidst the Trump administration’s introduction of new policies to USCI which has essentially brought the system to a stop. Wait times are not only at a high for adjustment and citizenship applications, but also for family members of US citizens, asylum applications, student visas, and working visas. While people are generally in the consensus that this is a positive move, some worry this will negatively impact those in cities with few immigrants, such as Cleveland, Ohio. This move has the potential to increase the wait times in those cities, negatively impacting the wait times for the applications original in those cities. Additionally, critics worry that moving the applications to other cities will create an undue burden on applicants who will eventually have to travel to the new city in order to attend interviews with USCIS. In situations where multiple interviews are necessary, this could create a situation where financial costs mount for applicants, especially if they have to pay for interpreters and attorneys to attend the meetings.