USCIS taking longer than ever to review applications
Boundless, an immigration law firm based in Seattle, Washington, offers an interesting email called bit by Boundless. Sign up for the newsletter here. The article below is from January 13, 2023:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is taking longer to review applications than ever before.
According to recent government data, 82% of forms now take longer for USCIS adjudicators to review. These longer review times are significantly contributing to USCIS’ massive application backlog — the forms that now take longer to review account for 86% of the current backlog.
One explanation for slower review times is that USCIS forms have significantly increased in length over time. More than 90% of forms have grown in length since their introduction, with page totals jumping from fewer than 200 pages in 2003 to more than 700 pages in 2023.
USCIS’ recent efforts to digitize the immigration process and encourage more online form filings are also counterintuitively making the application review process slower. For many adjudicators who are trained to review lengthy paper forms, it can be cumbersome to review those same forms and supporting documents digitally.
The consequences of USCIS’ review time inefficiencies are staggering. Estimates show that it will take nearly 10 million man-hours to work through the existing visa backlog — 3.3. million more hours than if adjudicators were reviewing at their previous speeds.
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