USCIS has announced a turnaround on its terrible backlog rates - detailing in its Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Progress Report the ways that the federal agency has worked in the past year to reduce its enormous caseload.
Last September we published a blog describing USCIS' (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) worst backlog to date - the agency was late in processing a record 5 million petitions. While that number has not been erased, USCIS has taken steps in the right direction to mitigate its logjam of cases and is committed to continuing to reduce its backlog this year.
USCIS states that in FY 2022 it was able to utilize more than 281,000 employment-based visas, twice the typical statutory annual allotment. This was a mixed blessing - USCIS was only able to grant so many employment-based visas because it failed to issue all of the family-based green cards it had available in 2021.
Other standout numbers:
- USCIS was able to naturalize more than 1 million new U.S. citizens - the highest number of naturalized citizens in almost 15 years. We hope you are next!
- USCIS extended the validity period of work permits (EADs) for over 400,000 noncitizens.
- USCIS issued more than 92,000 work permits for evacuated Afghan nationals after the fall of the Afghan government.
- USCIS issued nearly 120,000 travel authorizations to Ukrainian nationals and their immediate family members who were impacted by Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
USCIS is hoping to continue reducing its backlog, and has committed to the following measures to make that plan a reality:
- Implementing premium processing for all employer petitions for immigrant workers (Form I-140) and certain EAD applications for students and exchange visitors (Form I-765).
- Removing the requirement to submit biometrics for applicants for change and extension of nonimmigrant status (Form I-539).
- Simplifying several major forms, including the applications for EADs (Form I-765), adjustment of status (Form I-485), and naturalization (Form N-400).
We hope that you and your family can be included in the numbers for this year's immigration success stories - please see below for how you can contact us about helping on your immigration journey.
If you have questions about applying for a USCIS petition, please reach out to us at (757) 422-8472, or send us a message on our website. You can also schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys by clicking on this link.
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