Green Card processing is a long and frustrating process, notorious for excessive wait times that can last decades. In 2021, only 65,452 family preference Green Cards were issued of the 226,000 available Green Cards. In May of this year, the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders recommended steps to USCIS to reduce the Green Card backlog, which was voted for unanimously.
Recommendations would reduce processing time for family-based green cards, DACA renewals, and other Green Card applications to within six months.
Of course, this would require a near-complete overhaul of the existing system. Establishing new timeline goals, streamlining processes, removing repeating steps, and automating manual approval mechanisms are included in these recommendations. Additionally, USCIS must improve internal reporting systems and dashboards. Internal processes by which USCIS processes Green Cards need to be reworked and additional officers must be hired.
The initiative is proposed to take effect starting August 2022, with the goal of increasing interview processing by 100% and expanding Green Card interviews and decisions by 150% in the first three months.
The system is far overdue for this much-needed overhaul. We will continue to follow how these recommendations impact actual visa processing times.
Sheila Danzig is the director of CCI TheDegreePeople.com. Sheila specializes in overturning RFEs and Denials for work visas.