One of the common complaints about the immigration process is it takes a long time to complete the process. It does not matter what immigration benefit one seeks; chances are you are going to wait for a long time, sometimes years, before you get the benefit you seek. The question many ask is why does it take so long to go through the immigration process to obtain a benefit?
At Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC, we get asked this question all the time. This blog has some of the information we give our clients in the Chicago area to answer that question, and we hope it will answer yours as well.
The following are some reasons why your immigration case might be taking so long:
Visa availability. If you are applying for a family or employment-based preference category petition, then you are likely to wait for a long time before your green card is approved. This is because the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has a huge backlog of these types of applications. These backlog delays are even worse for certain family categories, such as brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens who must wait for more than 15 years to get their green cards.
Applicants for green cards from certain countries, such as China, must also wait longer than everyone else to get their green cards.
Complexity in Processing. As a government agency, USCIS has a form application for everything. This makes the agency paperwork heavy, and often, paperwork for related cases is disconnected, leading to delays as those files must be cross-referenced before a final decision is made. In some cases where the cross-reference is not necessary, a file for one family member may be processed and completed faster than one for the other relative simply because the immigration officer handling the second file has their own individual backlog.
Covid. USCIS is still recovering from massive delays caused by the Covid pandemic. Although there has been a significant improvement in processing times since Covid dissipated, USCIS still has delays caused by this unprecedented national crisis.
Insufficient Evidence. Some delays are caused by the filing of petitions or applications without the required evidence to fully evaluate the case. In this case, the immigration officer may require additional evidence, and this causes more delays. When one responds to the request and provides the requested additional evidence, the file may not be seen by the officer for a long time because of their own individual backlog.
Mistakes and Errors. It is bad enough that there are delays in the immigration system because of the backlogs. However, those delays are made even worse by the submission of incomplete paperwork or paperwork with mistakes or errors. USCIS routinely rejects or denies petitions and applications that have mistakes or errors. Correcting those mistakes or errors and refiling the paperwork significantly adds to the already long processing time.
Delays are inevitable with immigration processing. However, you can improve your chances of avoiding unnecessary delays by having an immigration lawyer such as the ones we have at Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC to help you in making sure your case is processed without unnecessary delay.
If your case has taken a long time to process or to avoid unnecessary delays, contact our office to schedule an appointment to discuss how we can help you.
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