The I-130 backlog that started about 6-9 months ago is still causing families to remain separated. At the American Immigration Lawyers Association annual conference in June, USCIS said that they are aware of the problem and are working on reducing the problem. From feedback from colleagues I learned that newly filed cases are flying through the process.
So, what does it mean for the cases stuck in the backlog? Well, they appear to be coming out of the backlog but not very quickly. Upon approval from the USCIS, cases are taking a considerably long time at the National Visa Center for further processing. A case that would have taken about 9 months from start to finish is now taking a good 15 months or more.
What does that mean for US citizen spouses and their families? The answer is not a happy one. Families are suffering adversely by such lengthy separations. They are suffering financially as well as emotionally. Where there are children, US citizen spouses with those children in the US are de facto single parents for the duration of the processing. Those children are suffering emotionally, both at home and at school which is thereby affecting their future. It is a heartbreaking situation for all concerned.
I would urge USCIS and the National Visa Center to work together to reduce the backlog of the actually backlogged cases as soon as possible. US citizens and their families deserve to be together without unreasonable delays.
|Tahmina Watson is an immigration attorney and founder of Watson Immigration Law in Seattle Washington. She was a practicing barrister in London, UK, before immigrating to the United States herself. While her practice includes family-based and employment-based immigration, she has a strong focus on immigrant entrepreneurs and start-up companies. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can visit www.watsonimmigrationlaw.com to learn about Tahmina and her practice.|
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