The Biden administration has announced plans to clear up the backlog of immigration cases.

At the moment, there are more than 9.5 million immigration applications that USCIS hasn’t gotten to yet. The US Government can’t get to them all on time because of the growing backlog. Recent things that have happened in Afghanistan and Ukraine have also made a difference.

According to data released by the agency, USCIS reviewed more than 9.5 million applications in February 2022. This represents a 66 percent increase over the end of the fiscal year 2019.

Director Ur Jaddou of USCIS said, “USCIS remains committed to making decisions quickly and fairly for everyone we serve.” Every application we decide on represents the hopes and dreams of immigrants and their families, as well as their most important immediate needs, such as financial stability and protection from harm.

New steps have been taken by the Biden administration

On Tuesday, March 29, the Biden Administration announced several steps to deal with the growing backlog of applications and shorten the time it takes to process them.

The Best Handling

The administration wanted to expand a special service called “premium processing,” which requires applicants to pay a fee of $2,500 so that their cases can be handled more quickly. At the moment, this service is only for a few applications, such as H-1B petitions and green card requests based on employment.

After sixty days, this rule will go into effect and cover other cases, such as I-140 green card petitions, Form I-765 EAD, and some Form I-539 applications. For a fee of $2,500, applicants can have their case looked at within 45 days.

Executives in multinational corporations, highly skilled managers, and professionals with advanced degrees who want to relocate to the United States but do not have a job offer will be able to use premium processing to obtain green cards (which is currently required).

Getting rid of cases

USCIS is also coming up with new ways to reduce the number of applications waiting to be processed. This includes lowering the processing time and speeding up the cycle time. The administration is also trying to streamline the review process by getting rid of as many unnecessary steps as possible.

The agency wants to review applications for U.S. citizenship, DACA renewals, and green card requests from immigrants sponsored by U.S. within six months. This could be family members or employers.

It also plans to finish things like work permits, extensions of temporary status, and travel documents within three months. To reach its goals, USCIS is putting a lot of effort into hiring more people and improving its processing technology.

Fees will go up

During the first few months of the pandemic in 2020, there was no way to get a visa. Because of this, the agency has trouble getting enough money from the application fees. This is also one of the main things that led to the backlog getting bigger.

The agency said that if fees don’t go up, the cost of immigration services and operations will go over the amount of money that is currently available. USCIS is planning to raise fees for most of its services because of this. A higher fee will help cover the costs of running the business more quickly. The Biden Administration has also said that plans are being made to improve the H1-B visa program for professionals.

The US Congress just put forward a new bill to renew around 3.8 million employment and family visas that have not been used. Indian and Chinese immigrants in the employment category who have been waiting a long time for permanent residency status or a green card will benefit greatly from this.

Zoe Lofgren, who is a Democrat and chairs the House Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee, came up with the Jumpstart Our Legal Immigration System Act Bill. After this bill is signed into law, immigrants who are already in the US will be able to pay a fee and apply for permanent resident status or a Green Card.

After this bill is signed, immigrants living in the US and eligible people from outside the country will both be able to apply for a Green Card. The bill also sets aside 4,400 EB-3 visas for people with jobs that are in short supply, like nurses and physical therapists.

The law also says that for the first nine years, no country can have more than 25% of reserved Visas and 85% of unreserved Visas. Lofgren has said that this bill will make it possible for immigrants to take part in and help their communities. The US economy will also benefit because American companies can now hire and keep more foreign workers, especially from India and China.

About James G. Barr

I am an international student. I am a doctoral student and teaching assistant at a University in the United States. Aspiring students looking to make their educational dreams come true, we offer generous scholarships to help you reach your goals.

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