The Green Card Backlog Latest News 2023 brings promising updates for individuals eagerly awaiting their green cards. In April, the Department of State's National Visa Center reported a decrease in the immigrant visa (IV) backlog, signaling progress in addressing this long-standing issue. Furthermore, while the number of cases considered documentarily complete and ready for interview scheduling slightly decreased, there was a small increase in the number of people scheduled for green card interviews. These developments offer hope and signify efforts being made to alleviate the backlog. In this article, we delve into the latest statistics and explore the implications for green card applicants.
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In April, the Department of State's National Visa Center reported a 4.3% decrease in the immigrant visa (IV) backlog, with the number of pending cases dropping from 370,125 in February to 354,973. This decrease is a positive development for individuals awaiting their green cards.
Additionally, the number of green card applicants whose cases were considered documentarily complete and ready for interview scheduling also decreased slightly. In February, there were 409,021 cases in this category, which decreased to 396,877 in April, representing a decrease of approximately 3%. A case is considered documentarily complete when all required forms and documents have been submitted and accepted by the NVC, signaling that the case is prepared for the next step, which is scheduling an interview.
Although the decrease in case counts was relatively modest, there was a small increase in the number of people scheduled for green card interviews. In April, the NVC scheduled 41,904 interviews, compared to 38,896 interviews in February. These numbers indicate progress in addressing the green card backlog, although there is still more work to be done. The decrease in pending cases and the increase in interview scheduling are positive signs that efforts are being made to alleviate the backlog and move the process forward for green card applicants. Continued monitoring of these trends will be important to assess the overall improvement in processing times and to provide hope for individuals waiting to receive their green cards.
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To effectively address the pressing issue of the Green Card Backlog and ensure the provision of vital humanitarian services, the agency requires congressional support for its budget request for FY 2023. This funding is imperative to mitigate the current backlog and streamline the immigration process. Moreover, the report underscores the significance of USCIS's commitment to pursuing an upcoming fee rule. By implementing this rule, USCIS aims to prevent the accumulation of new backlogs. The report elucidates the adverse consequences that emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic, including furlough notices, a hiring freeze, and substantial cuts to contract staff. These challenges severely hampered USCIS's capacity to handle the influx of incoming applications and underscore the critical need for appropriate resources and support to ensure efficient and timely processing.
USCIS has expanded its humanitarian mission in response to new government priorities like Operation Allies Welcome, Uniting for Ukraine, and the Process for Venezuelans. Uniting for Ukraine, and the Process for Venezuelans, and broadened its existing humanitarian mission.
The agency plans to build on this success by streamlining several commonly used forms, such as those for employment authorization, adjustment of status, and visas, and by starting next month to prioritize all immigrant worker petitions for premium processing. In addition, the agency will streamline several forms that are frequently used, including those for employment authorization, and visas. The report outlines the future humane mission of the USCIS, which will be accomplished through increased staffing, online filing and notices, new rulemaking, and public engagement. In addition, the report describes how the agency will engage with the public.
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In the complex landscape of U.S. immigration, family reunification plays a significant role, even within the employment-based (EB) green card categories. According to the Cato Institute, a renowned think tank, only 45% of employment-based green cards were granted to workers in 2021. This statistic sheds light on the current preference for family members of immigrant workers to utilize the EB green card pathway.
Unlike other OECD countries, where immigrant workers outnumber immigrant family members, the United States exhibits a notable difference. Instead of having a separate green card category specifically designated for the spouses and children of workers, these family members are allocated green cards that would otherwise have been granted to skilled workers themselves. In 2021, approximately 55% of EB green cards were awarded to the family members of workers, as illustrated in Figure 1. Consequently, workers themselves received the remaining 45% of EB green cards. These proportions closely resemble the statistics from the previous year, with a slight decrease in the percentage of green card beneficiaries who are workers.
While this pattern is consistent with the United States immigration system, it highlights the unique emphasis placed on family reunification within the EB green card categories. As the nation navigates discussions on immigration reform, understanding and analyzing these trends can provide valuable insights into the allocation of green cards and its impact on the immigrant workforce.
By examining the data presented by the Cato Institute, policymakers and stakeholders can gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics between family-based immigration and employment-based green cards. By acknowledging these complexities, future reforms can strive to strike a balance that aligns with the economic needs of the country while also considering the importance of family reunification for immigrant workers.
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The recent updates on the Green Card Backlog in 2023 demonstrate positive developments in the processing of green card applications. The decrease in pending cases and the increase in interview scheduling indicate progress in addressing the backlog and moving the process forward for eager applicants. Although there is still more work to be done, these trends provide hope and reassurance for individuals awaiting their green cards. Continued monitoring of these improvements will be crucial to ensure sustained progress and timely processing. With each step forward, the path to obtaining a green card becomes clearer, bringing closer the realization of dreams and opportunities for countless individuals.