Immigration cases may be delayed for many reasons, waiting without knowledge of what is happening to your case can be a source of frustration and stress. In most cases, a delay of your process is not indicative of a mistake in your filing, but simply due to the backlog of USCIS cases and longer processing times. As of June 2022, the DOJ-EOIR (Department of Justice- Executive Office for Immigration Review) backlog was 1.8 million cases. With such an unprecedented backlog, cases are seeing more delays than ever with many people waiting longer to have their case reviewed or to come before a judge. Here are some of the reasons you might be experiencing a delay in your case
- Longer processing times- Processing times can vary by region and case; some offices are more backlogged than others. You can check case processing times on the USCIS website to verify that your case is within normal processing times. Many cases may take a year or more to process.
- RFE (Request for Evidence)- When the USCIS needs more information on your case, you may receive an RFE. An RFE are relatively common, it does not mean your case has been rejected. Your attorney may ask you for additional information in order to respond to the RFE and continue your process in a timely manner. It is important to provide your attorney with any necessary documents and information as soon as possible so your RFE can be processed quickly.
- Backlogged Cases- During the Covid-19 pandemic, USCIS shut down all in person services from March 2020- June 2020 and implemented a hiring freeze. This contributed greatly to the already immense backlog of cases. Additionally, under the Trump administration extra requirements were added to immigration processes which slowed processing and further contributed to the backlog. The backlog of cases has grown exponentially over the years without many solutions to remedy the situation.
Many of the reasons for a delay in your case are due to the aforementioned processing times and backlog of cases. It is normal to worry when your case is taking longer than expected, but knowing the source of these delays is important to address these worries and not cause undue stress. In order to make sure that your case is processed on time, it is important to make sure that you provide all necessary information and documents to your attorney in a timely manner. Making sure that your information is accurate and complete is essential to the success of your case. If your case is processing for longer than the quoted time on the USCIS website, you may contact your case manager to address your concerns. Should any extenuating circumstances outside of backlogs and long processing times arise, they will be addressed by your attorney to ensure proper proceedings in your case.