U.S. Presidential Panel Recommends That Green Card Applications Should be Processed Within Six Months

The Biden administration is attempting to improve the processing time for applications for green cards or permanent residency. They are trying to achieve a processing time of six months rather than the decades it can currently take for some green card applicants. This would be a welcome change for many applicants as well as employers.

A US presidential advisory committee voted unanimously to approve this decision. This commission has recommended that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services take a number of steps to lower the current backlog of pending green cards. The steps would include reviewing its current systems, policies, and processes as well as establishing internal cycle time goals to be achieved by streamlining its current processes, automating any existing manual approvals, eliminating any existing redundant steps, improving its internal dashboards and reporting system and enhancing policies, as well as automating any manual approvals.

If the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) takes these steps, it should help reduce the processing time for DACA renewals, family-based green card applications, as well as all of the other applications for green cards within a period of six months. Additionally, it should help lower the time it takes to adjudicate decisions to six months or less from the time it receives the application.

The advisory committee states that the goal is, if properly implemented, the USCIS will increase interview processing capacity for green cards by 100% within three months starting from August 2022 and to increase capacity for both interviews and adjudication decisions within six months from this date. Afterward, the agency states that the maximum timeline for processing green card interviews and visa processing should be a maximum of six months or 180 days.

Additionally, the committee asked USCIS to review additional requests for work permits as well as travel document extensions or changes to temporary status within three months. This will be beneficial for both employers and workers by allowing green card holders to begin employment faster.

These changes aim to address the increasing wait times for green cards and make it easier for migrants to live and work in the U.S. This may give many employers additional opportunities to find green card holders to employ. However, for many employers completing Form I-9, the employment eligibility verification process can be difficult. One way to reduce the burden is by investing in an electronic I-9 management system. This can guide employers every step of the way and ensure documentation and paperwork is easily and securely stored for future review.

Learn more about automating your employment eligibility verification and ensuring compliance with I-9 Compliance.