November 14, 2022. The U.S. Department of Justice has hired several new immigration judges to assist with the backlog of deportation cases. However, despite the efforts, cases have piled up even though the government has hired many new immigration judges.
The problem of the backlog is severe with many immigrants, like in the state of Texas. The addition of all these new judges has not been enough and as of early 2022, records show that Texas toped in the largest number of pending deportation cases in the entire country. At the current pace, cases in Texas took to an average of 3 years and asylum applications take nearly 5 years before courts process them. The delays are indeed a struggle for the U.S. government and a humanitarian crisis for noncitizens with pending cases.
Some attorneys believe the answer to the solution is prosecutorial discretion. Prosecutorial discretion is an action taken by a government attorney to dismiss a low-priority case such as for noncitizens who have lived in the U.S. for a decade or more and have U.S. citizen family members. The belief is this action can keep families together and help unburden immigration courts around the country.
Immigration Courts, which are under the Department of Justice in the executive branch, decide matters involving asylum, green cards, and other immigration-related cases. Specifically, these courts decide whether a noncitizen will remain in the U.S. or be deported. Immigration courts, although far different from criminal courts, also have similarities like having a judge, a prosecutor, and there’s a defendant. The process of any immigration cases can differ and do expect delays as there were factors that affect the processing time. There is a lot to know about the process and we have created a page here to help!
Need more helpful information? We've got you covered.
H1B Lottery: Incoming Second Round of Random Selection
Expecting for a second round of random selection after the previous submitted FY 2024 H-1B Cap Registrations
Revamping Form I-9 Looks By August 1
Few days from now, on the first day of August, the office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will be announcing the revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.
Expansion of USCIS MyProgress Now Includes Form I-765 and Form I-131
USCIS proclaimed the expansion on myProgress, for forms: Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and Form I-131, Application for Travel Document.
Naturalization Ceremonies Held Simultaneously Across Country Last July 4th During Independence Day
Naturalization Ceremonies Held Simultaneously Across Country Last July 4th During Independence Day
TPS Reorganized for El Salvador & Others
The Department of Homeland Security has announced an 18-month notice to extend the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for certain countries. This page covers the details of the announcement and what it means for those affected by the change.
Streamlining Asylum Processing: Digitizing Paper Filings for Improved Efficiency
Last May 31, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services altered the filing spot for certain affirmative asylum applications forwarded through snail mail.
New Review Process for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans Improves Efficiency and Performance
May 18, 2023. As the state government is geared to approve advance travel authorization monthly to immigrants obtain parole, the USCIS is revising the processes for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans applicants effective May 17, 2023.
USCIS Expands Employment Authorization for Hong Kong Residents under DED Program
On May 5, 2023, USCIS announced in the Federal Register that the DED program for Hong Kong residents would expand its eligibility and extend its deadline.
New Form ETA 9089: It’s Here!
Last month, the Department of Labor announced through its website that the Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) will be accepting the newly revised Form ETA-9089 on May 16, 2023.
Obtaining a Certificate of Citizenship for Adopted Children: Important Information and Updates from USCIS
March 21, 2023. The office of USCIS is updating its Policy Manual 5 and 12 as soon as possible to provide information on how US citizenship and naturalization laws apply to adopted children.
Somalia’s TPS: Extension and Reassignment Updates
March 10, 2023. The country of Somalia has its extension and reassignment for Temporary Protected Status declared by the Department of Homeland Security.
Streamlined F1 Student Visa Application: New Online Processing Procedures Announced
On March 6th, the USCIS declared the extension of premium processing open, particularly for F-1 nonimmigrant applicants. Applicants can now file online, or submit their application via mail.
USCIS Policy Update for F1 Student Applicants
February 22. 2023. The USCIS had posted guidelines for its Policy Manual to clarify the validity period of employment authorization for certain individuals on F1 student visas.
DHS Extends Visa Interview Waiver for Certain Categories
December 23, 2022. Department of Homeland Security together with the Secretary of State, declared the extension to waive the face-to-face interview
Efficiently Apply for Form I-485: Tips to Prepare Your Evidence and Documents and Avoid Delays
On February 10, 2023, the USCIS issued a reminder to all applicants filing for Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, to ensure they are fully prepared with all necessary evidence and supporting documents
Stay Ahead of the Game: USCIS Policy Update for Asylee and Refugee Adjustment of Status
February 02, 2023. The USCIS had updated its Policy Manual, specifically, the necessity to be physically present of the applicant for Form I-485, be it either an asylee or refugee.
USCIS Rolls Out Redesigned Green Cards and Work Permits for 2023
Jan 30, 2023. The USCIS had released a new design of Permanent Resident Cards ( Green Cards) and Employment Authorization Documents or Work Permits.
USCIS Unveils New Strategic Goals for 2023-2026: What You Need to Know
Jan. 27, 2023. The USCIS had announced its Strategic Plan for Fiscal Year 2023-2026
USCIS Grants 360 Day Automatic Extension On Some EADs
May 3, 2022. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) increments the automatic extension period of work permits up to 540 days effective May 4, 2022.
USCIS Proposes Increased Form Fees In 2023
January 4, 2023. USCIS announced a proposed rule to modify certain immigration and naturalization fees. Read more to know further details.
Students with F1 Visas Can Now File I-765 Online
April 12, 2021. The USCIS declares that F-1 students applying for optional practical training can file for Application for Employment Authorization, or Form I-765. Read ahead to know more.
Department of State Successful Lowering Backlogs After Pandemic
In their latest update as of October 21, 2022, the Department of State declared it as a win when they successfully decreased their waiting time. Know more on this article.
DED Eligible Liberians Work Permit Validity Now 24 Months
Sept 2, 2022. A federal notice was posted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to broaden the eligibility of Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians and those eligible citizens can apply for Employment Authorization Documents through June 30, 2024.
USCIS to Waive Interviews for Conditional Resident Applicants
In April 2022, USCIS updated its policy in waiving interviews for applicants with applications to remove conditions on their permanent residence status.
Pending Cases Before USCIS Now Over 8.8 Million
One of the major issues with USCIS is the massive number of backlogs of pending cases. The number of pending cases now reaches almost 9 million.
USCIS Announces New Actions To Increase Efficiency
In the efforts to boost productivity and improve the performance of the overall immigration system, USCIS has implemented 3 strategic steps in March 2022.
USCIS Extends Deadlines for RFEs due to COVID-19
USCIS further extends deadlines to January 24, 2023. All responses received within 60 days after the date due for RFEs issued between March 1, 2020, and January 24, 2022.
Applying for Asylum for Venezuelans Made Easy
War and other national threats are just some of the reasons why citizens fly out of the country. It’s a fight or flight situation for them and they seek a place where they can be safe. As for Venezuelans, the United States of America was their beacon for safety. Last October 12, the Department of Homeland Security eased the way for Venezuelans with supporters to qualify to fly to the United States and apply for asylum.
Green Card Validity Extension to 24 Months for Green Card Renewals
Being an immigrant and turning into a resident of the United States comes with a responsibility, and that is to renew their green cards. As of September 26, 2022 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had amended the used-to-be 12 months extension of the validity of the Permanent Resident Cards to 24 months. It’s been said to be necessary to have proof of lawful continued status in the event of an expired Green Card. This will, indeed, help those applicants with a longer processing time.
U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba Reopens: Visa Processing Continues!
For an immigrant-turned-citizen living in the United States, one of many aspirations is to bring the family and experience living on American soil. U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba has reopened its doors and expanded further Immigrant Visa Processing which had now covered all immediate relative categories. Since May 2022, they resume the scheduling of interviews starting July 2022 a new category. This comprises the spouse and children under 21 years of age (IR/CR-1 and IR/CR-2), in addition to the IR-5 category that only includes parents of a US Citizen. This expansion widens the office’s functions to provide consular services and engagements, diplomatic and civil society. Department of Status is scheduling Interviews.