Why Is My Immigration Case Taking So Long?


Across the country, millions of families, businesses, and individuals who have applied for humanitarian aid with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) are waiting longer than ever to have their applications and petitions processed and approved. Just 5 years ago, the average time it took to process a case was 5 months. By 2018, the average time had risen to 10 months. This extra processing time has interfered with businesses, separated families, and even put people’s lives at risk.

Under the Trump administration, the state of immigration in the United States is more dire than ever. Keep reading for more information on why cases are taking so long and what you can do about it, and call our New Bern immigration attorneys at the E.A. Wood Law Firm for compassionate and experienced representation today.

Why Cases Are Taking Longer

A number of factors have contributed to the recent slow down in immigration cases. Recently implemented changes at USCIS seem to be designed to restrict legal immigration. For instance, one new policy mandates that USCIS officers now must go through a duplicate review of prior decisions, piling on more work to each case without any clear benefit to the administration or legal immigrants. The overall effect of these unnecessary and inefficient changes has been to increase processing times, even as overall application rates are decreasing.

According to recent USCIS data:

  • Processing times rose 19% between 2017 and 2018, from 7.98 months to 9.48 months.
  • Case receipts dropped 13% between 2017 and 2018, from 8.53 million to 7.64 million

Who’s Paying the Consequences?

While Congress has sanctioned USCIS a service agency designed to benefit the American people, it’s clear from the fewer number of cases being processed and the increased wait times they are putting people through that it’s not currently functioning that way.

Individuals affected by USCIS policy changes include:

  • People applying for family-based benefits
  • People applying for employment-based benefits
  • People applying for naturalization
  • People applying for travel documents
  • People applying for employment authorization

In general, immigration cases across the spectrum are taking longer because of USCIS policy changes. In fact, a total of 94% of all immigration petitions and applications took longer to process in 2018, compared to the total processing time just a few years earlier, in 2014.

What Can I Do to Help My Case?

If you are one of the many legal immigrants who has been affected by USCIS policy changes, the best course of action you can take is to hire a skilled attorney. At the E.A. Wood Law Firm, our lawyers provide representation for a range of immigration issues. Whether you need assistance with citizenship and naturalization, green cards or visas, or even asylum claims and deportation defense, we’re here for you. With a history of successful case results and the passion to fight for every client, the E.A. Wood Law Firm is proud to help guide immigrants on their journey to become Americans.

Dial (800) 611-0821 to schedule a consultation, or contact us online to learn more.