USCIS announces new actions to reduce legal immigration backlogs

This week, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a variety of efforts to increase efficiency and reduce burdens to the overall legal immigration system. USCIS will set new agency-wide backlog reduction goals, expand premium processing to additional form types, and work to improve timely access to employment authorization documents. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resource constraints, there are a significant number of pending cases and increased processing times. Through this announcement, USCIS is acting to reduce these caseloads and processing times. 
Areas that are being focused on include: 
  • Reduced processing backlogs
  • Expanded premium processing
  • Improved access to employment authorization documents ?
A full list of prior actions USCIS has taken to reduce processing times and the agency's pending caseload is available on UCIS' website

Last fall, a long term care (LTC) coalition led by AHCA/NCAL, focused on the workforce crisis, sent a letter to the State Department offering solutions to help address the crisis. AHCA/NCAL has heard from providers that the immigrant visa processing is incredibly backlogged due to COVID-19 and reduced staffing at U.S. embassies and consulates. Many of the health care professionals with offers from U.S. LTC facilities with approved immigrant petitions have been waiting for many months, in some cases more than a year, for a visa interview appointment. In the letter, the LTC coalition urged the State Department to swiftly take a variety of measures to expedite the interview process so international nurses can enter the country and help LTC providers deliver quality care for the most vulnerable Americans.?

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