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USCIS Announced Backlog Elimination Strategy Today

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  • USCIS Announced Backlog Elimination Strategy Today

    Ladies and Gentlemen, the waiting is over.


  • #2
    Ladies and Gentlemen, the waiting is over.



    • #3
      This is too good too good to be true. I have tried the URL you gave out and was redirected to a page that does not say anything of substance
      Originally posted by Mo:
      Ladies and Gentlemen, the waiting is over.



      • #4
        What is the date of action from one pile to the other?


        • #5
          The USCIS released the backlog reduction plan a few days back. However, the announcement lacked the details when it came to the actions to be taken at the stage of "backend" adjudication process. The backend reduction measures have been sporadically disclosed here and there through conference materials and meeting records. The following two are the additional information for the ongoing backlog reduction plan which we discovered:

          Life of IBIS Clearance: In the immigration adjudication process, one of the most obnoxious culprit that causes backlog is IBIS name check for criminals and security risk aliens. For the three years, the immigration agency worked on a rule that the adjudicators conduct the name check before adjudication and the check remained valid "only for 35 days!" Accordingly, should the adjudication fail to complete within 35 days, the adjudicators had to redo the IBIS check over and over again. Not only the IBIS check takes time but also such work demanded a tremendous man/hour workloads leading to the eventual accumulation of backlogs. Recently, USCIS study revealed that the life of IBIS check can last longer than 35 days for the purpose of its intended detection of criminals and secruity risk aliens and has decided to change it from 35 days to "90 days." This is indeed a welcome move. This move will certainly help processing times of I-485 adjudications.

          Pre-Certification of I-129/I-140 Employers: USCIS one time adopted a so-called "sole jurisdiction" concept allowing the U.S. employers to file all their I-129 petitions and I-140 petitions for their alien employees with one fixed Service Center upon the pre-certification by the Service Center involved. Accordingly, large firms hiring alien employees working all different states started filing all the I-129 H and L and I-140 cases with one Service Center no matter where the actual job sites were located. This also affected the location of I-485 filing for the aliens involved. Since the agency had a policy of requiring the aliens to file I-485 at the Service Center which adjudicated I-140 petition, people were able to file I-485 applications not at the jurisdiction of their residence but at the jurisdiction of the employer's sole jurisdiction. The I-485 filers had an option to request transfer of the filer to the Service Center of the jurisdiction of their residence, but considering the fact that the transfer would cause delays, it rarely happened. The immigration agency suspended the sole jurisdiction filing and ceased to grant new sole jurisdiction privilege to the employers for sometime by now. The Service Center which continued to the last moment was Vermont Service Center. The sole jurisdiction filing traffic was one time extremely heavy because, one time, processing times was the shortest and the adjudication standards and practices were most liberal and lenient at the Vermont Service Center. For instance, when there was a gap between the two jobs for the H-1B aliens, while CSC and NSC allowed a very short period of time of 30 days, the VSC recognized even 90-day period. One undesirable consequences of the concept of sole jurisdiction was the forum shopping by the large employers, shopping for the Service Center that gives the fastest and best services for their employment-based petitions and sought sole jurisdiction privilege at the Service Center. Now it is goine. However, the Semi-Annual Regulatory Agenda of the USCIS reflects that it was planning to intoduce a new concept named "precertification" of certain employers filing I-129 and I-140 to streamline adjudication process towards reduction of adjudication backlogs. The Agenda indicates that the precertification rule would be published in October 2004 with the two-month comment period. No details are available about at this time as to the meaning of precertification. One thing which is obvious is that the I-129 and I-140 nonimmigrant and immigrant petitions filed by the precertified employers will be processed and adjudicated differently and in a speedy mode. Please stay tuned.

          Gradual expansion of online filing of various petitions and applications will certainly help in reduction of front-end processing of cases but not the back-end processing. However, the currently tested "concurrent adjudication" including the 90-day adjudication pilot programs at the Dallas District Office and California Service Center and its anticipated expansion into other jurisdictions in the future, issuance of EAD for the life of pending applications rather than for a fixed one-year which will soon be implemented, and the above-described other actions would certainly help in reduction of backend adjudications and we wholeheartedly welcome the bold move of the USCIS leaders. We understand that the USCIS is also working on a plan to remove I-131 Advance Parole for I-485 applicants down the road, most probably incorporating the travel permit into the EAD card which would serve as work permit as well as travel permit (Nice!). The agency can achieve all these changes because of technology development that allows biometric identifier features in the system and in the documents which will be carried by the aliens. The immigrant community should support the USCIS moves wholeheartedly. Lastly, the House action and USCIS decision to change the inquiry system back to the Service Centers from the private contractors of 800 number are another move that will truly serve the immigration consumers well which they deserve.


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