The USCIS recently acknowledged new and severe backlogs resulting from an “unanticipated” flood in June and July of applications for citizenship and permanent residency. USCIS stated that in July and August 2007 it received more than 2.5 million applications which is double the total number that it received during the same two month period in 2006. The flood of applications was due in part to the fee increase which went in effect on July 30, 2007 and all of the employment-based immigrant visa categories becoming current in July 2007. The USCIS has stated that it still struggling to send out receipt notices for applications received in July and August. Due to this inundation of applications, the USCIS will not be able to meet the goals established by the Bush Administration to have eligible applications adjudicated within a six month timeframe. The USCIS stated that it will be hiring at least 1,500 additional adjudicators to process the new applications, a 10% increase in the number of adjudicators. However, even with this additional staff, the USCIS stated that it may now take between 16-18 months for citizenship applications to be adjudicated. Previously, it was taking as little as four months for the USCIS to review these applications. The USCIS stated that they are working to complete citizenship applications in time for new citizens to vote in the November 2008 election.
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USCIS acknowledges new severe immigration backlogs
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