Good News: Reduced Processing Times for N-400 and I-485 Applicants Underway

Petitioners who have filed for N-400, Application for Naturalization and I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status forms for US citizenship and Permanent residencies will begin to see reduced processing times, thanks to USCIS’s decision to redistribute cases among different field offices around the US.

If you are filing N-400, follow these useful tips to help you through the N-400 filing process.

N-400 Useful Tips

FY 2016 saw an increase of 25.5% and FY 2017 saw a 15.6% increase in N-400 and I-485 receipts and this amounted to much longer processing times than anticipated. This in turn, led to uneven backlogs among different field offices leading to delays of up to two years in busy offices while the less busy ones took only six months or so. This has prompted USCIS to shift caseloads accordingly so that the distribution is even and processing times reduced.

What you Should Know About Reduced Processing Times

  • Your case may be processed in a field office other than the one you submitted it to;
  • This means the subsequent interview may take place at a different location/field office.
  • This could mean the petitioner may have to incur additional expense to travel beyond their normal jurisdiction for the interview;
  • USCIS will give sufficient time to cater to the extra travel requirements;
  • USCIS has also expanded the number of field offices and staff functioning on these cases;
  • The applicant should also anticipate notices such as appointment notices or Request for Evidence (RFEs) from a totally different field office or an office unknown within their jurisdiction;
  • Having said that, all biometric appointments will happen within the applicant’s jurisdiction.
  • All applicants are advised to pay heed to the instructions on all notices being sent over that will have specific directions regarding their next steps.

What are the current processing times at various field offices?

Here is a list of fast and slow districts for your reference.

USCIS Field Offices

About 5.6 million green card or US naturalization applicants are going to benefit from this expedited course of action. If you are in the process of applying for Form I-485, here’s what you should know about Adjustment of Status.