A new policy by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is likely going to alter the amount of time it takes for some citizenship applicants to receive a decision on their case. For some, who are in the busiest offices in the country, the wait will be shortened. For others, who are in the least busy offices, the wait times might increase.
The new policy is going to send some cases from those busy cities to the less busy cities for processing. The hope is that shifting these applications will cut back on the massive backlog that has some individuals waiting up to two years for a decision.
Around 5.6 million cases are pending in the backlog of all immigration cases, which includes more than just citizenship application. Around 25 percent of the total cases are the ones of individuals seeking naturalization or green cards. These are spouses of current citizens, refugee children and others who want to build a permanent life in this country.
One negative point to this is that some applicants might have to travel a longer distance to attend hearings, but the USCIS notes that this is going to be considered when assigning cases. Still, it could prove burdensome for some people.
Anyone who wants to apply to become a citizen and meets the requirements should get their application filed as soon as possible. The timeline for an application decision doesn’t even start until the application is received, so waiting is just going to lengthen the amount of time you have to wait for word about your status.