Processing times for USCIS Forms like N-400 and I-485 increased in recent years, and USCIS has announced that it aims to decrease these processing times.
The USCIS processing times for Forms N-400 and I-485 have been increasing. According to the USCIS, the reason for the increase in processing times is that the number of applications received increased by 25.5% in 2016 compared to 2015, and further increased by 15.6% in 2017 compared to 2016. Because of this increase in volume, some field offices received more applications than expected. This lead to the processing time differences between field offices.
How did it affect immigrants who already applied?
If your application was sent to a field office with higher volume, then your processing time would be higher, compared to another person who applied at the same time in a different, less busy field office.
You cannot choose your field office, which is based on location.
What changes are expected for immigrants with pending applications?
USCIS will be transferring cases to less busy field offices. If your field office is changed, you will receive your notice(s) from the new field office where your application is transferred to.
You might also be asked to attend your interview in the new field office where the application is processed. This means you might have to travel hundreds of miles to the new field office for your interview.
But this will not affect the biometrics appointment that can come after the interview.
Biometrics will be taken at the nearest application support center. Make sure to carefully read any notices sent by the USCIS, double-check all addresses, and plan accordingly.
If you haven’t applied already, then this is a good time to do so, as processing times might decrease in the coming days.
Get started on your Form N-400 Application for U.S. Citizenship
Get started on your Form I-485 Application to Adjust Status