Overall Processing Delay at USCIS Reaching Crisis-Level

05. Feb. 2019

An analysis of recently published USCIS data reveals crisis-level delays in the agency's processing of almost all types of applications and petitions under the Trump administration. These delays harm families and U.S. businesses as they lose talent to overseas competitors.

Some alarming agency data:

  • The overall average case processing time surged by 46% over the past two fiscal years.
  • I-140 (non-premium processing) processing time increased from an average of 5.7 months in 2016 to 7.8 months in 2018.
  • Case processing times increased substantially in FY 2018 even as case receipt volume appeared to markedly decrease.

These ballooning delays threaten the competitiveness of U.S. companies facing workforce shortages.  Yet rather than easing the logjams, USCIS compounds them by imposing policies and practices such as spikes in Requests for Evidence (RFEs) that drive down efficiency and ratchet up delays. Such measures act as bricks in the Trump administration’s “invisible wall” - policies and actions that slows and decreases legal immigration.

Congress never intended this wall. To the contrary, USCIS is meant to function as a service-oriented benefits entity that efficiently and fairly processes immigration cases. USCIS is clearly failing that mandate and the need for USCIS reform is urgent.