When you’re attempting to immigrate with your family, a long delay can be very frustrating on many levels. Delays may even create a seemingly endless term of family separation, which can be trying for everyone involved. You simply want to bring your family together, perhaps to help them achieve a better life in the United States, but the immigration application process seems to be taking far longer than it should. Why is this happening?
The underlying reason is simply that the system is very backlogged right now. For example, between 2019 and 2022, there was a 120% increase in backlogged applications related to the Labor Department. The backlog created by Homeland Security was 54%, while the Justice Department experienced a backlog of 78%. State-level backlogs relating to interviews were the worst, rising by 370% for immigrants. All told, there was a backlog increase of 232% throughout the different departments.
The backlog was created by a rise in pending cases
Interestingly, statistics show that this backlog is happening simply because there are far more pending cases than there were in previous years. Due to the events of the last few years closing offices for a time, the government fell behind and now has more pending cases than they can handle quickly, creating a logjam for all new cases – even though there hasn’t been a notable increase in applications received.
For example, in the second quarter of 2012, total filings exceeded 2 million, and the total backlog was about 2.5 million. Fast forward to the third quarter of 2022, and cases received were again just above 2 million, but the total backlog was far closer to 9 million. This was a dramatic increase over just the previous decade.
What options do you have?
If you find yourself waiting and waiting, it’s important to know about all of the legal options that you have available to you. You must know what steps you can take to work toward the approval that you are seeking. After all, you wouldn’t want something like a technical paperwork error to cause your petition to be delayed even longer.
Working with an attorney to streamline the application process from the very beginning – to the extent that you can – will help to ensure that it goes fast as possible under this very strained system.