Washington, D.C., May 6, 2021: Reports from USCIS and from Donoso & Partners’ own recent experience indicate that USCIS processing times are likely to drop during the remainder of 2021 and through 2022.
USCIS processing times are reported based on the average time that it takes USCIS to review and reach a decision on a visa petition. During the Trump Administration, USCIS reached exorbitant lengths that, frankly, had not ever been seen in the USCIS system. For example, I-485 Adjustment of Status applications were taking approximately 1.5 years; I-765 work permit applications were taking in the range of 6 to 8 months, and so on. The EB-5 program was especially impacted by such delays. I-526 immigrant petitions for entrepreneurs were taking in the range of 2 to 3 years, and I-829 petitions to remove the conditional basis of the EB-5 green card were taking 2.5 years to 5 years.
Immigrants seeking to play by the rules were suddenly faced with the crude reality that following the rules scarcely helped if the USCIS simply refused to issue a decision on a visa petition.
The reasons for these delays are twofold: (1) the COVID19 pandemic impacted the efficiency and productivity of USCIS and all government functions, including mail delivery, and (2) the Trump Administration delayed processing of visa petitions as a way to reduce the number of legal immigrants entering the United States.
These two factors are slowly improving during 2021 and are expected to continue improving during 2022.
Donoso & Partners, a leading immigration law firm based in Washington, D.C., will continue to report on developments regarding the immigration law and policy through our news section of donosolaw.com.