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Budget issues could lead to more slowdowns with immigration

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2023 | Immigration Law

Like many other functions of the government, the pandemic significantly impacted the process for reviewing visa applications and other immigration forms. A shortage of workers, office closures and other issues led to a major backlog of visa applications and other forms, leaving applicants waiting for extended periods of time. In May of 2022, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it would be making an effort to improve this backlog.

This goal included three different efforts all done with the intent of easing the backlog and speeding up processing times. The USCIS announced that it would increase efficiency as a way to reduce the overall burden on the immigration system. It also said there would be efforts made to provide easier access to employment authorization documents — a step that could benefit the health of the U.S. economy.

Could a slowdown be imminent?

Fortunately, processing times have sped up thanks to these efforts, and it appears that many functions of the immigration system are working faster. For any green card categories, the processing time has seen an improvement by as much as two months. Those applying for refugee status or asylum have seen the processing times go from around 28 months to just over 14 months. These are all positive steps in the right direction, and in the 2023 fiscal year, the State Department expects to see processing times return to their pre-pandemic averages.

However, there could be some reason for concern in the event of a budgetary default with the U.S. federal government. If it does default on its current debts, new federal spending will not receive approval. With a default, spending is still possible, but it will be based on incoming revenue. Some believe this would not have a significant effect on processing times, but others share concerns that this would impact all functions of the federal government, including the USCIS.

What does this mean for you?

If you are hoping to enter the United States to live and work, you will benefit from having experienced guidance as you navigate the process. Regardless of the type of visa you are applying for or what you hope you accomplish, having the counsel of a Florida legal professional may help you avoid setbacks at every step. An assessment of your specific objectives and other details of your immigration case can help you understand what options are available to you.