USCIS to Shift N-400 and I-485 Caseloads to Decrease Processing Time Discrepancies

by Alexander J. Segal on Aug. 15, 2019

Immigration Immigration  Deportation Immigration  Visa 

Summary: On June 17, 2019, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it is implementing a national strategy to decrease differences in processing times based on the location of processing for the Form N-400, Application for Naturalization...

immigration attorney nycIntroduction

On June 17, 2019, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it is implementing a national strategy to decrease differences in processing times based on the location of processing for the Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, and the Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status [PDF version].

New Policy

The USCIS stated that processing times for both the Form N-400 and the Form I-485 began increasing at the end of 2015. This increase is attributable to higher than expected volumes of Forms N-400 and I-485 filed in fiscal year 2016 and 2017. While processing times increased generally due to the increased number of Form N-400 and Form I-485 filings, “[t]he increased filing volumes did not affect [USCIS] field offices equally.”

As part of its strategy to even out processing times for the Form N-400 and Form I-485, the USCIS will begin shifting caseloads between its field offices. Thus, it may schedule naturalization and adjustment of status applicants to appear for interviews at field offices outside of their normal jurisdiction. Form N-400 and Form I-485 applicants may expect to receive notices pertaining to their applications — such as an interview appointment notice or a Request for Evidence — from a field office outside of their normal jurisdiction. The USCIS clarifies, however, that “these caseload changes will not affect where applicants attend their biometrics appointments.” Regardless of shifting caseloads, biometrics appointments will still occur at the naturalization or adjustment of status applicant's nearest application support center. The USCIS reminds applicants to always follow the instructions on notices received from the USCIS.

Discussion

The USCIS will shift caseloads between field offices to even out the processing times for the Form N-400 and Form I-485. This will ideally reduce the discrepancy where certain applicants for naturalization or adjustment of status are subjected to extremely long processing times due to an unusual number of filings at the field office normally having jurisdiction over their applications. For those applicants whose applications are shifted from one field office to another, the change may cause some inconvenience. Regardless, applicants must always carefully follow the instructions that they receive from USCIS in order to proceed through the adjudication of their applications.

Applicants for naturalization or adjustment of status should consult with an experienced immigration attorney for case-specific guidance on each step of their application processes. To learn more about this and related issues, please see our website's growing sections on naturalization [see category], adjustment of status [see category], family immigration [see category], employment immigration [see category], and investment immigration [see category].

Please visit the nyc immigration lawyers website for further information. The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC focuses vast segment of its practice on immigration law. This steadfast dedication has resulted in thousands of immigrants throughout the United States.

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