Tag Archives: USCIS delays

Green Card Backlog: Could choosing consular processing be your solution?

The journey to obtaining your green card can be a long process. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused backlogs for all USCIS petitions but significantly affected those who wish to adjust to permanent residency within the United States. Some adjustments are taking up to two years to process in certain service centers.

In recent months, as the pandemic is seemingly winding down and other countries are beginning to soften their COVID-19 regulations, we have seen a decrease in interview wait times at some foreign consulates. Now the question is: is consular processing going to be the quickest pathway to obtaining your green card?

By analyzing the projected wait times on the USCIS website, it is easy to compare them to the processing times listed on the Department of State’s website, specific to each consulate. Below we have provided two charts that can be used to compare processing times for our clients from the United Kingdom who are filing under the “US citizen filing for spouse, parent, or child category”:

 

Family Based Adjustment of Status within the United States

FORM NAME

DISCRIPTION OF BENEFIT SOUGHT ESTIMATED PROCESSING TIME

Form I-130

Application Alien Relative

13 – 18.5 months

Form I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status to a Permanent Resident of the United States 12 – 28.5 months
Form I-131 Application for Travel abroad while I-485 is pending with USCIS 11 – 15 months
Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization while I-485 is pending

11.5 – 15 months

 

Consular Processing Green Card Process

PROCESS NAME DISCRIPTION OF BENEFIT SOUGHT ESTIMATED PROCESSING TIME
Form I-130 Application Alien Relative 13 – 18.5 months
Transfer from USCIS to the NVC If a visa is available to you USCIS will send your petition to the National Visa Center 4 – 8 weeks
NVC Case Creation and payment of fees Once the NVC receives your petition they will open up a case for you. This will prompt you to pay the necessary NVC fees. 2 – 6 weeks
Submit DS-260 application and supporting civil documents Once you have submitted all the necessary documents the NVC will again review the application and documents 3 – 4 months

If you have questions about whether choosing consular processing could be a better option for you than filing an I-485 adjustment, reach out to us at info@challalaw.com.

Employer I-9 Update: Using I-797s During EAD Production Delays

Employer I-9 Update: Using I-797s During EAD Production Delays

COVID-19 has led to unprecedented EAD production delays, leaving many foreign workers without proof of work authorization. A federal judge ordered the delayed green cards and EADs to be printed within seven days, but with one production facility shut down and a furlough looming, workers may still be left waiting.

USCIS announced that due to the printing production delays, employers may now accept Form I-797, Notice of Action, with a notice date on or after 12/1/2019 through 8/20/2020 (that indicates approval of the EAD) during I-9 verification. The approval notice is an acceptable list C #7 document for compliance through December 1, 2020, even though the notice states it is not evidence of employment authorization.

The announcement notes that the I-797 does not provide evidence of identity or serve as a document establishing both identity and employment authorization. Any employee presenting an approval notice for new employment must also prove their identity with acceptable List B documents. Employees presenting the document for reverification purposes can use the I-797 as proof of work authorization under list C.

The employer must reverify any employee who presents the I-797 Notice of Action as a List C document by December 1, 2020.

Learn More

UPDATED: I-9 Compliance Flexibility Extended Through September 19, 2020

Resuming on Wednesday, September 16 are our weekly immigration webinars! Register for the webinar or email us with any additional questions.

Visit our COVID-19 resource page for the latest updates or follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, or LinkedIn. You can also sign up for our mailing list.