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USCIS Message: Processing Times

Recent months have seen news headlines about the delays in processing times for many types of visas. Today the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a statement on the subject, offering their reasons for the delays and describing what you can expect if your case is transferred to another center for processing:

"We are writing to address recent customer concerns about processing delays. We recognize that some cases are taking longer to complete than usual and apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused. Current personnel resources do not align with the present caseload, but we are working to address the staffing shortages and workload issues that are causing the delays.

"We continually review our workload capacity at each service center and, based on our findings, redistribute the work among the service centers. This type of planning allows us to maximize our resources and minimize any delays when work is transfered. We have recently transferred cases between all of our service centers, including our newest center, the Potomac Service Center. This work includes all recently filed Forms I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, submitted by F-1 and M-1 students for Optional Practical Training. For more details, you can visit our new workload transfer updates page.

"While this may not reduce wait times immediately, we hope you will see improvement over the next few months. Transferring cases will assist with backlog reduction, ensure processing times are consistent across service centers, and provide our customers and stakeholders with faster responses.

"Here is what you need to know if your case is transferred to another center for action:

  • Your case will be worked based on the processing times of the receiving center
  • All notices and requests will come from the new center
  • Please notify USCIS any time you change your address
  • If you receive notice that your Green Card has been approved, please wait 120 days to receive it in the mail

"Customers can access current processing times on the USCIS website at https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/processTimesDisplayInit.do.

"We encourage you to sign up for an account with Case Status Online to get an email or text notification when there is an update to your status, including when your Green Card is mailed. We also encourage you to keep your address up to date to ensure that your card is delivered to your most current physical address. You can update your mailing address online at www.uscis.gov/changeaddress."