Reducing the immigration backlogs

“Because roughly 97% of USCIS’s revenue comes from user fees, applicants are essentially paying for the wall of regulations that prevent them from working and staying in the U.S…. A fiscally prudent and responsive USCIS is the backbone for all immigration reform and must be a primary objective for both Congress and the president.” (from here

On March 29, the Administration said it would do the following:

Hire more staff and further modernize its processes using technology to meet new processing time goals.

[Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General wrote in December 2021, “USCIS’ primary operational challenge, however, was its continued reliance on paper files to process and deliver benefits. USCIS had limited capability to electronically process more than 80 types of benefits, which still required some manual workflows and paper files to complete cases.’]

Allow premium processing for more visa types, giving applicants the option to pay between $1,500 and $2,500 in additional fees to expedite their applications. Premium processing is currently only available for H-1 work permit applications and some employment-based green cards.

Increase the automatic extension period for work permit renewals, providing relief for hundreds of immigrants stuck in limbo as they wait for permission to work. Work permits generally valid for 2 years have to be renewed.

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