Immigration News

How Long Does it Take? USCIS Processing Times – as of January 2015

As immigration attorneys, one of the most common questions that we are asked is, “how long will it take?”  Apart from responding, “too long,” it is often exceedingly difficult for an attorney to predict how long it will take USCIS to adjudicate a particular application.  USCIS processing times vary widely based on a number of factors, including agency staffing and resource allocation, the aggregate numbers of applications received for processing, changing government priorities, and the legal and factual complexities of an individual application or petition. In order to provide some predictability to the process, USCIS periodically releases average processing times.

On January 20, 2015, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published information concerning average processing times for the most common types of immigrant and non-immigrant petitions and applications,which are adjudicated at the agency’s large regional service centers.  For the convenience of our readers, we are posting the most recent USCIS processing times reports here.  Please keep in mind — these are average processing times, and, in our experience, some petitions will be processed faster than these published times and others, unfortunately, will be slower.

EB-5 Processing Report

National Benefits Center Report

Vermont Service Center Report

Texas Service Center Report

Nebraska Service Center Report

California Service Center Report

Mexican Consulates in the United States will now issue Certified Copies of Birth Certificates

Beginning on January 15, 2015, all Mexican Consulates throughout the United States will issue certified copies of birth certificates to citizens of Mexico.  The cost to Mexican citizens to obtain a certified copy of his/her birth certificate will be $13.00.  The Mexican Consul announced that there will be no additional costs.  A citizen of Mexico will need to complete a short application and produce some type of official identification, like a Clave Unica de Registro de Poblacion (CURP).

Prior to January 15, 2015, in order to obtain a certified copy of a birth certificate issued in Mexico, a Mexican citizen would need to contact the local municipality in Mexico, which could sometimes be a long, slow and tedious process.  The issuance of certified copies of birth certificates by the Mexican Consulates located in the United States will be a tremendous service to Mexicans living here.  Often, for various immigration applications and services, a certified copy of the birth certificate is required.

To see the full announcement, please click:  Mexican Consulate birth certificates

Temporary Protected Status: Syria — Redesignated January 5, 2015

On January 5, 2015, USCIS extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for citizens of Syria through September 30, 2016, and – importantly – redesignated TPS eligibility for Syrians who have been physically present in the United States since January 5, 2015.  TPS status authorizes citizens from a designated country to remain in the United States and to receive employment authorization during the authorized time period.  Because of the ongoing war and security situation in Syria, USCIS determined it is not safe for Syrian citizens to attempt to return to that country at this time.

For Syrian citizens who already have TPS status, they are required to submit their renewal application between January 5, 2015 and March 6, 2015.  Current TPS holders from Syria who have employment authorization cards expiring in March 2015, will have their work authorization automatically extended until September 30, 2015, in order to give sufficient time to apply and receive the new employment authorization card.

For new TPS applications for citizens of Syria, the application must be submitted between January 5, 2015 and July 6, 2015.

For the USCIS official information about TPS for Syrians and the application requirements, please click:  Syria TPS

If you would like to discuss TPS status or have other questions for one of NELSON  SMITH,s immigration attorneys, please feel free to email us: philip@visahawaii.com