Immigration Court Backlog Nears 400,000

The number of cases awaiting resolution in the Immigration Courts had grown to 396,552 by the end of July 2014. This backlog increased by nearly 75,000 cases, or 22 percent, since the start of fiscal year 2013, according to very timely government enforcement data obtained by the Transactional Access Records Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University.

The California Immigration Courts continued to have the greatest backlog with 81,022 cases. Second was Texas, where the backlog of 69,625 cases rose 74 percent since the start of FY 2013. The third largest backlog was in New York where 57,204 cases were awaiting resolution.

The longest waiting times were found at the Imperial, California hearing location, where a backlog of 1,208 cases were waiting an average of 857 days to be resolved as of July 31. The next highest wait times were found at the Omaha, Nebraska hearing location, where 4,992 cases have been waiting an average of 840 days. The average wait time for the 77 juvenile cases at Omaha was only 10 days, however.

The 10,984 cases at the Phoenix, Arizona hearing location had the third longest waiting time, an average of 805 days as of July 31. The 200 juvenile cases there had an average waiting time of only 66 days.

Note that not all court locations have separately reported waiting times for juvenile cases. TRAC has requested more comprehensive court data on scheduling and waiting times for juvenile cases, and will report these details once the additional information is received.

To view annual backlog trends as well as the ten states with the largest backlog as of the end of July 2014, see the latest TRAC snapshot report at:

http://trac.syr.edu/imm/snap_backlog

For more details by location and by nationality, including average wait times, use TRAC’s immigration backlog tool at:

http://trac.syr.edu/imm/court_backlog

TRAC is self-supporting and depends on foundation grants, individual contributions and subscription fees for the funding needed to obtain, analyze and publish the data we collect on the activities of the US Federal government. To help support TRAC’s ongoing efforts, go to:

http://trac.syr.edu/sponsor/

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Visa Bulletin For September 2014

Visa Bulletin For September 2014

Number 72
Volume IX
Washington, D.C

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A. STATUTORY NUMBERS

1.  This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during September. Consular officers are required to report to the Department of State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically limited visas; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security reports applicants for adjustment of status.  Allocations were made, to the extent possible, in chronological order of reported priority dates, for demand received by August 12th.  If not all demand could be satisfied, the category or foreign state in which demand was excessive was deemed oversubscribed.  The cut-off date for an oversubscribed category is the priority date of the first applicant who could not be reached within the numerical limits.  Only applicants who have a priority date earlier than the cut-off date may be allotted a number.  If it becomes necessary during the monthly allocation process to retrogress a cut-off date, supplemental requests for numbers will be honored only if the priority date falls within the new cut-off date announced in this bulletin. If at any time an annual limit is reached, it would be necessary to immediately make the preference category "unavailable", and no further requests for numbers will be honored.

2.  The fiscal year 2014 limit for family-sponsored preference immigrants determined in accordance with Section 201 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is 226,000. The fiscal year 2014 limit for employment-based preference immigrants calculated under INA 201 is 150,241. Section 202 prescribes that the per-country limit for preference immigrants is set at 7% of the total annual family-sponsored and employment-based preference limits, i.e., 26,337 for FY-2014. The dependent area limit is set at 2%, or 7,525.

3.  INA Section 203(e) provides that family-sponsored and employment-based preference visas be issued to eligible immigrants in the order in which a petition in behalf of each has been filed.  Section 203(d) provides that spouses and children of preference immigrants are entitled to the same status, and the same order of consideration, if accompanying or following to join the principal.  The visa prorating provisions of Section 202(e) apply to allocations for a foreign state or dependent area when visa demand exceeds the per-country limit.  These provisions apply at present to the following oversubscribed chargeability areas:  CHINA-mainland born, INDIA, MEXICO, and PHILIPPINES.

4.  Section 203(a) of the INA prescribes preference classes for allotment of Family-sponsored immigrant visas as follows:   

FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCES

First: (F1) Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens:  23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.

Second: Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents:  114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, plus any unused first preference numbers:

A. (F2A) Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents:  77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;

B. (F2B) Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents:  23% of the overall second preference limitation.

Third: (F3) Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens:  23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.

Fourth: (F4) Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens:  65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.

On the chart below, the listing of a date for any class indicates that the class is oversubscribed (see paragraph 1); "C" means current, i.e., numbers are available for all qualified applicants; and "U" means unavailable, i.e., no numbers are available. (NOTE:  Numbers are available only for applicants whose priority date is earlier than the cut-off date listed below.) 

Family-Sponsored All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA-mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
F1 01MAY07 01MAY07  01MAY07 01JUN94 01AUG04
F2A 01JAN13 01JAN13 01JAN13 22APR12 01JAN13
F2B 01SEP07 01SEP07 01SEP07 15MAY94  01DEC03
F3 15NOV03 15NOV03 15NOV03 15OCT93 22MAY93
F4 01JAN02 01JAN02 01JAN02 22JAN97 15MAR91

*NOTE:  For September, F2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 22APR12.  F2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 22APR12 and earlier than 01JAN13.  (All F2A numbers provided for MEXICO are exempt from the per-country limit; there are no F2A numbers for MEXICO subject to per-country limit.) 

5.  Section 203(b) of the INA prescribes preference classes for allotment of Employment-based immigrant visas as follows: 

EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCES

First:  Priority Workers:  28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required for fourth and fifth preferences.

Second:  Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability:  28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required by first preference.      

Third:  Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers:  28.6% of the worldwide level, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences, not more than 10,000 of which to "*Other Workers".

Fourth:  Certain Special Immigrants:  7.1% of the worldwide level.

Fifth:  Employment Creation:  7.1% of the worldwide level, not less than 3,000 of which reserved for investors in a targeted rural or high-unemployment area, and 3,000 set aside for investors in regional centers by Sec. 610 of Pub. L. 102-395.

On the chart below, the listing of a date for any class indicates that the class is oversubscribed (see paragraph 1); "C" means current, i.e., numbers are available for all qualified applicants; and "U" means unavailable, i.e., no numbers are available.  (NOTE:  Numbers are available only for applicants whose priority date is earlier than the cut-off date listed below.) 

Employment- Based

All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed

CHINA – mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st C C C C C
2nd C 08OCT09 01MAY09 C C
3rd 01APR11 01NOV08 08NOV03 01APR11 01APR11
Other Workers 01APR11 22JUL05 08NOV03 01APR11 01APR11
4th C C C C C
Certain Religious Workers C C C C C

5th
Targeted
Employment
Areas/
Regional Centers
and Pilot Programs

C C C C C

*Employment Third Preference Other Workers Category:  Section 203(e) of the Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) passed by Congress in November 1997, as amended by Section 1(e) of Pub. L. 105-139, provides that once the Employment Third Preference Other Worker (EW) cut-off date has reached the priority date of the latest EW petition approved prior to November 19, 1997, the 10,000 EW numbers available for a fiscal year are to be reduced by up to 5,000 annually beginning in the following fiscal year.  This reduction is to be made for as long as necessary to offset adjustments under the NACARA program.  Since the EW cut-off date reached November 19, 1997 during Fiscal Year 2001, the reduction in the EW annual limit to 5,000 began in Fiscal Year 2002.

6.  The Department of State has a recorded message with visa availability information which can be heard at:  (202) 485-7699.  This recording is updated on or about the tenth of each month with information on cut-off dates for the following month.

B.  DIVERSITY IMMIGRANT (DV) CATEGORY FOR THE MONTH 
     OF SEPTEMBER
 

Section 203(c) of the INA provides up to 55,000 immigrant visas each fiscal year to permit additional immigration opportunities for persons from countries with low admissions during the previous five years. The NACARA stipulates that beginning with DV-99, and for as long as necessary, up to 5,000 of the 55,000 annually-allocated diversity visas will be made available for use under the NACARA program. This resulted in reduction of the DV-2014 annual limit to 50,000. DV visas are divided among six geographic regions.  No one country can receive more than seven percent of the available diversity visas in any one year.

For September, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2014 applicants chargeable to all regions/eligible countries as follows. When an allocation cut-off number is shown, visas are available only for applicants with DV regional lottery rank numbers BELOW the specified allocation cut-off number:

Region All DV Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed Separately
AFRICA 81,100 Except:
Egypt:    32,250
ASIA 13,350

Except:
Nepal:      9,500

EUROPE 40,150
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) CURRENT
OCEANIA 1,450
SOUTH AMERICA,
and the CARIBBEAN
1,750

Entitlement to immigrant status in the DV category lasts only through the end of the fiscal (visa) year for which the applicant is selected in the lottery.  The year of entitlement for all applicants registered for the DV-2014 program ends as of September 30, 2014.  DV visas may not be issued to DV-2014 applicants after that date.  Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2014 principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September 30, 2014.  DV visa availability through the very end of
FY-2014 cannot be taken for granted.  Numbers could be exhausted prior to September 30.

C.  THE DIVERSITY (DV) IMMIGRANT CATEGORY RANK CUT-OFFS 
     WHICH WILL APPLY IN OCTOBER

For October, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2015 applicants chargeable to all regions/eligible countries as follows. When an allocation cut-off number is shown, visas are available only for applicants with DV regional lottery rank numbers BELOW the specified allocation cut-off number:

Region All DV Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed Separately
AFRICA 8,000 Except:
Egypt:      6,000
Ethiopia:   7,000
ASIA 2,500
EUROPE 8,500
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) 3
OCEANIA 400
SOUTH AMERICA,
and the CARIBBEAN
550  

D.  VISA AVAILABILITY IN THE COMING MONTHS

INDIA Employment-based Second Preference: The use of potentially "otherwise unused" Employment numbers prescribed by Section 202(a)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) has allowed the India Employment Second preference cut-off date to advance very rapidly in recent months. Continued forward movement of this cut-off date during the upcoming months cannot be guaranteed, however, and no assumptions should be made until the dates are formally announced. Once there is a significant increase in India Employment Second preference demand it will be necessary to retrogress the cut-off date, possibly as early as November, to hold number use within the fiscal year 2015 annual limit. 

E.  DETERMINATION OF THE NUMERICAL LIMITS ON IMMIGRANTS
     REQUIRED UNDER THE TERMS OF THE IMMIGRATION AND
     NATIONALITY ACT (INA)

The State Department is required to make a determination of the worldwide numerical limitations, as outlined in Section 201(c) and (d) of the INA, on an annual basis. These calculations are based in part on data provided by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regarding the number of immediate relative adjustments in the preceding year and the number of aliens paroled into the United States under Section 212(d)(5) in the second preceding year. Without this information, it is impossible to make an official determination of the annual limits. To avoid delays in processing while waiting for the USCIS data, the Visa Office (VO) bases allocations on the minimum annual limits outlined in Section 201 of the INA. On July 24th, USCIS provided the required data to VO.

The Department of State has determined the Family and Employment preference numerical limits for FY-2014 in accordance with the terms of Section 201 of the INA. These numerical limitations for FY-2014 are as follows:

            Worldwide Family-Sponsored preference limit:          226,000
            Worldwide Employment-Based preference limit:        150,241

Under INA Section 202(A), the per-country limit is fixed at 7% of the family and employment annual limits. For FY-2014 the per-country limit is 26,337. The dependent area annual limit is 2%, or 7,525.

F.  OBTAINING THE MONTHLY VISA BULLETIN

To be placed on the Department of State’s E-mail subscription list for the “Visa Bulletin”, please send an E-mail to the following E-mail address:

listserv@calist.state.gov

and in the message body type:
Subscribe Visa-Bulletin 
(example: Subscribe Visa-Bulletin)

To be removed from the Department of State’s E-mail subscription list for the “Visa Bulletin”, send an e-mail message to the following E-mail address:

listserv@calist.state.gov

and in the message body type: Signoff Visa-Bulletin

The Department of State also has available a recorded message with visa cut-off dates which can be heard at: (202) 485-7699. The recording is normally updated on/about the 10th of each month with information on cut-off dates for the following month.

Readers may submit questions regarding Visa Bulletin related items by E-mail at the following address:

VISABULLETIN@STATE.GOV

(This address cannot be used to subscribe to the Visa Bulletin.)

Department of State Publication 9514
CA/VO:   August 12, 2014

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USCIS Processing Time Information for National Benefits Center, June 30, 2014

The chart will show most of the types of forms processed at the field office or service center.

If the field office or service center is meeting its goal for processing a form, you will find the timeframe listed in months. For example, if the office is processing Form N-400 naturalization applications in five months or less, then the chart will say “5 months.” However, if the office is experiencing a processing delay, you will find the filing date of the last case that the office completed before updating the chart.

Important Information About Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization

You can now submit inquiries about the status of your Form I-765 after your case has been pending more than 75 days.

  • Please note that for Form I-765 category (c)(8), based on a pending asylum application, the processing timeframes listed only apply to an initial filing.
  • Please note that the 90-day period for adjudicating Form I-765 category (c)(33) filed together with Form I-821D, requesting deferred action for childhood arrivals, does not begin until we have made a decision on your request for deferred action.
 
Field Office Processing Dates for National Benefits Center as of: June 30, 2014
Form Title Classification or Basis for Filing: Processing Timeframe:
I-102 Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival/Departure Record Initial issuance or replacement of a Form I-94

2.5 Months

I-131 Application for Travel Document All other applicants for advance parole

3 Months

I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status All other extension applications

2.5 Months

I-600 Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative. U.S. citizen filing to adopt an orphan

2.5 Months

I-600A Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition. U.S. citizen who plans to adopt a foreign-born child

2.5 Months

I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending I-485 adjustment application [(c)(9)]

3 Months

I-765 Application for Employment Authorization All other applications for employment authorization

3 Months

I-817 Application for Family Unity Benefits Voluntary departure under the family unity program

6 Months

I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card Initial issuance or replacement

December 17, 2013

I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card 10-year renewal

December 17, 2013

USCIS Processing Time Information for National Benefits Center

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USCIS Processing Time Information-Chicago IL Field Office August 7, 2014

 
Field Office Processing Dates for Chicago IL as of: June 30, 2014
Form Form Name Processing Timeframe:
I-485

Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status

September 17, 2013

N-400

Application for Naturalization

5 Months

N-600

Application for Certification of Citizenship

5 Months


USCIS Processing Time Information Chicago IL Field Office

Posted in Chicago District Office, I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status, N-400 Application for Naturalization, N-600 Application for Certification of Citizenship, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, USCIS Processing Time Chicago IL Field Office, USCIS Processing Time Information Chicago IL Field Office | Tagged | Leave a comment

USCIS Processing Time Information for Nebraska Service Center as of June 30, 2014

Field Office Processing Dates for Nebraska Service Center as of June 30, 2014

Instructions for Using the Chart

The chart will show most of the types of forms processed at the field office or service center.

If the field office or service center is meeting its goal for processing a form, you will find the timeframe listed in months. For example, if the office is processing Form N-400 naturalization applications in five months or less, then the chart will say “5 months.” However, if the office is experiencing a processing delay, you will find the filing date of the last case that the office completed before updating the chart.

Important Information About Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization

You can now submit inquiries about the status of your Form I-765 after your case has been pending more than 75 days.

  • Please note that for Form I-765 category (c)(8), based on a pending asylum application, the processing timeframes listed only apply to an initial filing.
  • Please note that the 90-day period for adjudicating Form I-765 category (c)(33) filed together with Form I-821D, requesting deferred action for childhood arrivals, does not begin until we have made a decision on your request for deferred action.
 

USCIS Processing Time Information for Nebraska service center

Field Office Processing Dates for Nebraska Service Center as of: June 30, 2014
Form Title Classification or Basis for Filing: Processing Timeframe:
I-102 Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival/Departure Record Initial issuance or replacement of a Form I-94

2.5 Months

I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e) K-3/K-4 – Already married – spouse and/or dependent child

5 Months

I-130 Petition for Alien Relative U.S. citizen filing for a spouse, parent, or child under 21

5 Months

I-131 Application for Travel Document Refugee or asylee applying for a refugee travel document

3 Months

I-131 Application for Travel Document Permanent resident applying for a re-entry permit

3 Months

I-131 Application for Travel Document Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act (HRIFA) dependent applying for advance parole

3 Months

I-131 Application for Travel Document Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act (HRIFA) principal applying for advance parole

3 Months

I-131 Application for Travel Document All other applicants for advance parole

3 Months

I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Extraordinary ability

January 16, 2014

I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Outstanding professor or researcher

4 Months

I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Multinational executive or manager

4 Months

I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Advanced degree or exceptional ability

4 Months

I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Skilled worker or professional

February 16, 2014

I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Unskilled worker

4 Months

I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Advanced degree or exceptional ability requesting a National Interest Waiver

4 Months

I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker Schedule A Nurses

4 Months

I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant All other special immigrants

5 Months

I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Employment-based adjustment applications

4 Months

I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Under the Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act (HRIFA)

4 Months

I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Under the Indochinese Adjustment Act

4 Months

I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Under the Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA)

4 Months

I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Based on grant of asylum more than 1 year ago

4 Months

I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status Based on refugee admission more than 1 year ago

4 Months

I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility

February 2, 2014

I-730 Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition Petition for accompanying family members of a refugee or an asylee

5 Months

I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on an approved asylum application [(a)(5)]

3 Months

I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a request by a qualified F-1 academic student. [(c)(3)]

3 Months

I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending asylum application [(c)(8)]

3 Weeks

I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on a pending I-485 adjustment application [(c)(9)]

3 Months

I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Based on an approved, concurrently filed, I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (c)(33).

90 Days

I-765 Application for Employment Authorization All other applications for employment authorization

3 Months

I-821D Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Request for Deferred Action

6 Months

I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition To request further action on an approved application or petition

February 15, 2014

N-565 Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document U.S. citizen applying for a replacement of naturalization or citizenship certificate

6 Months

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