Mithras Law Group Immigration Blog

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USCIS Deputy Director addresses Employment Based Visa Wait Times

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Mike Aytes, the Acting Deputy Director of the  United States and Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently addressed questions regarding the volume of employment-based petitions and delays that have occurred in employment-based visa petition and adjustment application processing in late 2007 and early 2008.

According to USCIS employers filed more than 234,000 petitions to sponsor foreign workers (Form I-140) as the Department of Labor cleared a large backlog of labor certification applications and implemented new regulations. Adjustment-of-status application filings also soared to nearly 300,000.

Aytes said that the USCIS is working towards proving more information on its website so that applicants are able to better gauge as to how many people are waiting in line with pending adjustment applications or how long it may be before USCIS can process and approve an individual’s application.

Aytes also mentioned that USCIS has taken the following steps to ensure efficiency:

  • USCIS has increased the emphasis on processing employment-based petitions. The USCIS goal is to complete adjudication on the older I-140 petitions and to process newer petitions within our targeted processing time of four months. USCIS is making progress toward this goal and anticipates reaching this goal by the end of September 2009.
  • USCIS is issuing employment authorization documents valid for two years, as needed.
  • USCIS is working with the State Department to make sure every available visa number is used. In 2007, more visas were available in the family-based categories than were needed, so as permitted by law, USCIS transferred those available family-based visas for use in the employment-based application process.
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Written by MithrasLaw

April 29, 2009 at 2:59 pm

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