January 29, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 29


January 27, 2023

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USCIS Measures to Ease Processing Times

Just as the Biden Administration is proposing increased funding for USCIS to help reduce the agency’s backlog, USCIS is announcing  future new actions to improve processing times.


  1. Plans to expand staffing, improve its technology, and establish new internal cycle time goals (the amount of time it takes to process a typical case). As the cycle times reduce, so should the backlogs. New cycle time goals include: two months for I-129 forms (Petitions for Nonimmigrant Workers), three months for forms I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization), I-131 (Advance Parole), and I-539 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant status), and six months for forms I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) and I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker). All of this will be without premium processing which currently costs an additional $2,500 in filing fees.

  2. Will introduce the optional premium processing service for more types of forms, including I-765s, I-539s, and I-140s for Multinational Executives and Managers and National Interest Waivers. Congress gave USCIS the ability to do this in 2020, but advocates have been waiting since then for the USCIS to implement the new premium processing by setting out the specific fees and adjudication times for each new type of process. It seems that this is now happening. USCIS has said the new premium processing will be phased in starting with the I-140s. The premium processing filing fees for these additional forms will be in the $1,500 to $2,500 range.

  3. Will introduce a new rule: Temporary Increase of the Automatic Extension Period of Employment Authorization and Documentation for Certain Renewal Applicants. The agency has already begun streamlining EAD processes and providing some expedited renewals for healthcare and childcare workers. USCIS plans to build on this to ensure that individuals do not experience gaps in employment authorization.

Once implemented, these measures should provide needed relief for employers and employees who have been struggling with long processing delays and gaps in employment authorization. 

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2023National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 88

About this Author

Amy Peck Immigration Attorney Jackson Lewis

Amy L. Peck is a Principal in the Omaha, Nebraska, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She dedicates her practice exclusively to immigration law and worksite compliance, and she is Co-Leader of the firm's Immigration practice group.

Ms. Peck is one of 21 Directors elected to serve on the 14,000-member American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Board of Governors. She currently is serving on the Board of Trustees of the American Immigration Council.

Ms. Peck is a member of the AILA National...

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Michael H. Neifach Jackson Lewis Employment visa Lawyer border security matters attorney

Michael Neifach is a Principal in the Washington, D.C. Region office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He is a recognized leader on immigration, visa and border security matters, and he is Co-Leader of the firm's Immigration practice group.

Mr. Neifach has held senior positions at the White House Homeland Security Council, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). He served as General Counsel at ICE from July 2007 through January 2009. Following his government service, Mr. Neifach oversaw...

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Otieno B. Ombok is a Principal in the White Plains, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C.

Mr. Ombok specializes in all aspects of employment-based non-immigration and immigrant visa petitions. He also advises on I-9 compliance issues as well as outbound immigration matters. He has a natural facility in addressing client issues such advises both U.S. and foreign employers with regard to immigration matters. He has a natural facility in addressing client issues pertaining to healthcare visas for medical professionals,...