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USCIS Sets New Agency-Wide Backlog Reduction Goals

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is enacting a number of measures to reduce unwieldy case processing times

USCIS is working toward achieving a temporary final rule (currently named "Temporary Increase of the Automatic Extension Period of Employment Authorization and Documentation for Certain Renewal Applicants") which aims to advance progress and ensure certain individuals will not lose work authorization status while applications are pending.

USCIS has committed to increasing adjudication capacity through improved technology and expanded staffing to reduce the number of pending cases idling in the queue. New internal cycle times were devised this month and as cycle time improves, processing speed will follow. USCIS anticipates achieving these goals by the end of fiscal year 2023.

Part of this initiative includes aligning premium processing regulations with the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act. Premium processing is an expedited adjudication service currently only available to petitioners filing a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker or to certain employment-based immigrant visa petitioners filing a Form I-140. Expansion of the rule will increase the form category types eligible for premium processing to include:

  • Form I-539 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status)
  • Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization)
  • Additional classifications under Form I-140

It is anticipated that USCIS will implement premium processing availability for the aforementioned forms sometime in fiscal year 2022. Congressional requirements indicate that this phased approach to premium processing expansion must not increase processing times for standard immigration benefit requests.

As Form I-9 compliance continues to rapidly evolve, BIG will remain current on all changes and prepared to communicate impacts to clients as they occur. If you have any questions or concerns regarding Forms I-9, please contact client services or your account management team.

Posted: March 29, 2022


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