In July and August 2007, USCIS received almost 2.5 million applications and petitions, more than double the number it received during the same time period last year. USCIS has witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of naturalization applications in particular. It has received 1.4 million applications during the current fiscal year, nearly double the total it received the previous year. USCIS is working to improve its processes and increase its resources to better handle the surge in applications, including hiring approximately 1,500 new employees.

As a result of the significant increase in the number of applications filed, USCIS is experiencing delays in the processing of fee payments and entry of cases into its tracking system. Applicants can expect delays in receiving notices of receipt. Notices for affected adjustment of status applications may take up to 12 weeks, and notices for affected naturalization and other applications may take up to 15 weeks. Furthermore, processing naturalization applications filed after June 1, 2007, may take up to 16-18 months. However, USCIS continues to honor the actual date that an application was received, which will be noted on the Form I-797, Notice of Action, applicants receive. USCIS will continue to provide weekly updates on its progress specific to each of its service centers and application types via its Web site.