Explanation of USCIS Posted Processing Times29 Oct 2010
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) posts processing information online. This is itemized by each service center and for each field office, based on case type. While this is helpful, further explanation is provided here to aid MurthyDotCom and MurthyBulletin readers in understanding the meaning of the processing dates.
Data is 45 Days Old
The USCIS case processing times have improved remarkably of late. Processing times for many case types have moved to under six months, whereas previously more than a year would have been typical. Nonetheless, case processing times always remain a significant concern to those undergoing the immigration process. As mentioned, the processing time data provided by the USCIS is helpful, but there are factors to be considered. The data given is approximately 45-days old at the time of posting. This normally would reduce expectations, however, the information is provided in two different manners.
- For some case types, there is a specific date provided, indicating that processing has commenced on cases filed on that date.
- For other types of cases, a timeframe (usually a number of months), is provided. Thus, if there have been recent changes in the processing capabilities, this estimate may no longer be completely accurate.
Most Recently Filed Date Listed: Older Cases Could Wait Longer
The other important piece of information regarding the processing dates provided is that these represent the most recently filed case of the particular type that has been assigned for adjudication. Thus, the dates may tend to be a bit optimistic. There could be and likely are older cases that, for various reasons, have not yet been assigned to officers for review.
NCSC Using Different Processing Time List
According to the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) the USCIS National Customer Service Center (NCSC) is using processing time data that is different from that which is posted for the public on the USCIS WebSite. Some of the NCSC processing time data contains longer processing times than posted, apparently particularly so for H and L filings. Thus, the NCSC may not regard a particular case as being past the processing times, and may refuse a service request for action on a delayed case for this reason. Efforts are underway to resolve this discrepancy.
These clarifications are provided for the benefit of MurthyDotCom and MurthyBulletin readers, as there is often frustration and anxiety surrounding processing time information. Most people know that they must wait for their cases to be processed. Having a better sense of how much time it is expected to take reduces stress levels and allows for proper planning. We at the Murthy Law Firm will continue to provide clarifications regarding this matter, as well as other issues of concern to our readers.
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