As the Donald Trump administration continues announcing proposed changes to U.S. immigration law, people applying for green cards experience growing delays in the green card application process.
Over the past few months, our Salt Lake City green card attorney at Familia America has received hundreds of calls from people complaining about holdups in processing times.
In fact, U.S. citizens applying for green cards for their non-citizen spouses seem to be more likely to experience delays in the application process. But why? In part, it may be due to the fact that the Trump administration keeps introducing policy changes to immigration law.
“Immigration officers have a lot more work on their plates now that the Trump administration keeps announcing policy changes almost non-stop,” says our experienced green card attorney in Salt Lake City.
What causes the delays in green card application process?
As a rule of thumb, marriage-based green card interviews are conducted within the first six months from the application date. Sometimes, applicants must wait longer, but certainly before a year.
But this was before Trump became President. Today, green card applicants in Utah and all across the nation are experiencing delays, and have to wait for interviews for more than a year. It is difficult to keep track of all the policy changes to immigration law, which is why immigration officers choose to double check applications before approving them.
In addition to that, late last year, the U.S. government expanded the requirement for in-person interviews to employment-based adjustment of status applications. Meaning: immigration officers have more work than they can handle, and the most outrageous thing is that local immigration offices have the same number of officers as before.
“Therefore, we have got hundreds of thousands of more applications coming through the immigration offices all across the country, which causes delays in the application process for everyone,” explains our Salt Lake City green card attorney.
What to do if you are experiencing delays in the application process?
Spokespeople for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), meanwhile, claim that the delays in the green card application process is due to a surge of family-based green card applications in recent years. The number of marriage-based green card applications grew by 34 percent from 2012 to 2017, according to the USCIS.
The USCIS also confirmed that the average processing times for applicants nationwide have increased in recent years, largely due to the spike of family-based green card applications.
Statistics also show that the time to process applications for immediate relatives, the I-130, grew from 6 months in 2016 to 6.8 and 7.7 months in 2017 and 2018 respectively. The average processing time for marriage-based green card applications, the I-485, has skyrocketed from 5.7 months in 2014 to 10.9 months in 2018.
If you are experiencing an unnaturally long delay in your green card case, it may be a good idea to contact the USCIS and make an inquiry about the delay. However, doing so can be quite scary if you are not represented by an experienced lawyer. When inquiring about the delay in your case, it is crucial to be polite to the immigration officer. Find out what you should do if you are experiencing delays in the green card application process by contacting Familia America. Get a free consultation by calling at 801-656-9605 today.