If you have ever tried to obtain an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa, you have probably experienced some frustration with processing times. After all, it is not uncommon for petitioners and applicants to wait months or even longer to receive an answer.
Officials with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recognize your frustration. In fact, according to a recent USCIS press release, immigration officials are implementing some steps to try to improve processing times.
For a fee, the USCIS agrees to expedite its processing of certain immigration petitions and applications. Unfortunately, though, the premium processing program traditionally only has included a few immigrant and nonimmigrant visa categories.
Over the next few months, the USCIS intends to expand the premium processing program. If you want to fast-track an employment-based immigrant or nonimmigrant visa petition, it is advisable to see if your petition is eligible for expanded premium processing.
Both to keep up with current demand and to address long-standing backlogs, the USCIS also is trying to meet new processing goals. These goals aim to have immigration officials adjudicate certain petitions and applications within two or three months.
The USCIS frequently announces strategies to improve efficiency. These efforts do not always work, unfortunately. Still, the recent USCIS announcement makes clear that immigration officials are taking customer needs seriously. It will take some time to determine whether the latest efforts are making any difference, of course.
Regardless of official processing times, it is often advisable to file immigrant and nonimmigrant visa petitions as early as possible. Ultimately, with a prompt and complete filing, you may increase your chances of receiving a rapid adjudication.