Over the past two fiscal years, immigration case times have increased by 46 percent. This is according to research from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). One possible outcome is that skilled employees from foreign countries may not want to work in Indiana or other states throughout the country. In some cases, those who are seeking an H-1B visa could wait more than a year before hearing back regarding their eligibility.
However, this wait can be as long as 10 years for workers from India because of quotas and other limitations. This is not the only type of immigration proceeding that is taking longer compared to previous years. In the 2014 fiscal year, it took just over five months to process an I-400 form. In the 2018 fiscal year, that increased to over 10 months. There are several reasons why cases are taking longer to process.
One of the causes is the requirement that applicants for employment green cards have an in-person interview with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Furthermore, employers are no longer allowed to pay for premium processing of H-1B visas for those who are changing jobs. Finally, the USCIS doesn’t necessarily have the resources to conduct interviews or take other steps to resolve immigration cases in a timely manner.
Employers or workers who are interested in employment-based immigration may want to consult with an attorney about how this may happen. Companies may be able to acquire H-1B visas for those who meet certain requirements. Those requirements generally include having a certain level of education and skills. Other programs may exist that allow workers to remain in the United States to obtain professional experience after graduating from college. Immigration attorneys may also assist workers with any other immigration issues that they may face.
Source: Forbes, “USCIS Immigration Delays Grow Longer And Longer,” Stuart Anderson, 01/31/2019