5 Surefire Ways to Expedite Your Immigration Case. Navigating the U.S. immigration system can be tedious and time-consuming. With processing times getting longer each year, many applicants feel frustrated by delays.However, there are a few proven strategies you can use to speed up your immigration case.
This comprehensive guide covers 5 powerful ways to expedite your application with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).Implement these tips correctly, and you’ll be well on your way to getting a quicker decision.
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1. Submit an Error-Free Application
Careless mistakes and incomplete details are one of the biggest reasons for processing delays. When the USCIS adjudicator has to send you a Request for Evidence (RFE), it can set you back by months.That’s why it’s critical to dot your I’s and cross your T’s before submitting your petition.Here are some tips to submit an error-free application:
- Read the Instructions Carefully: Don’t skim forms and miss critical details. Read every instruction meticulously before filling out applications.
- Include All Required Documents: Gather all supporting evidence like financial records, medical reports, tax returns, etc. before submitting your application. Missing documents lead to automatic RFEs.
- Check for Form Expiry Dates: Form editions expire, so always use the latest forms. Sending obsolete forms can lead to rejections.
- Review Completed Forms: Proofread final applications carefully before signing. Simple mistakes like spelling errors can delay applications.
Getting your application right the first time minimizes back-and-forth with the USCIS and accelerates processing.While more complex cases may inherently take longer, eliminating correctable errors gives your case the best shot at faster adjudication.
2. File for Premium Processing
Premium Processing is an expedited service offered by the USCIS for certain petition types.For an additional government filing fee (currently $2,500 for most cases), the USCIS guarantees processing within 45 days or issues a full refund. If the USCIS fails to take action in 45 days, you get your entire premium processing fee back.
Currently, Premium Processing is authorized for a limited set of employment-based and non-immigrant visa petitions. These include:
- Form I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker)
- Form I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers)
- Certain EB-1 multinational executive/manager applications
- Certain EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) petitions
So if you’re applying under any of the above categories, Premium Processing is an excellent way to slash decision wait times.The key advantage is the guaranteed processing timeline. So even if regular processing applications filed later get approved sooner, Premium Processing eliminates uncertainty.
Just make sure your case is approvable and submission error-free before applying for Premium Processing. Because if the USCIS does issue an RFE or denial, you won’t get a refund.
If Premium Processing is unavailable for your petition type, another option is to file an Expedite Request. This compellingly urges the USCIS to fast-track application decision-making due to special circumstances.
According to the USCIS Policy Manual, expedite requests may be granted due to:
- Severe Financial Loss: Provide evidence that delay will cause employer bankruptcy, job loss, or similar significant loss.
- Emergency Situation: Proof of a medical emergency, family crisis, or life-threatening situation that requires faster processing.
- Humanitarian Situation: Pending relief for difficult circumstances like significant disability, illness, or loss of life.
- Nonprofit Interest: Your activity provides significant public benefit like medical research or social services.
- USCIS Error: The agency made a mistake in processing your petition or violated regulations.
The USCIS reviews expedite requests on a case-by-case basis. So even if your situation fits the above criteria, approval ultimately depends on the strength of your supporting evidence.
To file an Expedite Request, call the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 and explain your situation. Make sure to have all documentation handy to substantiate your claims.You can also write to the service center processing your application and mail supporting evidence.
Clearly mark the envelope with “EXPEDITE REQUEST”.If the USCIS grants your expedite request, you will receive a written notice confirming faster processing. This could cut decision wait times from months to just days or weeks in approved cases.
4. Engage Your U.S. Representative
Seeking help from your local Congressional representative is an underutilized way to draw attention to pending immigration applications.While members of Congress cannot force the USCIS to approve petitions, they can contact the agency to enquire about case status. Many applicants have reported faster processing after Congressional outreach.To request assistance from your U.S. Representative, visit their official webpage and look for immigration casework contact details.
Alternatively, call the local Congressional office and request a case assistance appointment.During the meeting, explain your immigration situation and case specifics. Provide supporting documents about how delays are impacting your life. Ask for a Congressional inquiry into your case.Based on case details, the Representative may contact the USCIS Ombudsman or local field office. They may also submit a case status inquiry directly to USCIS headquarters.
The USCIS takes Congressional inquiries seriously and clears pending cases faster whenever feasible. So don’t hesitate to leverage your elected representatives who are there to serve your interests after all.
5. Hire an Experienced Immigration Attorney
Lastly, consulting an immigration lawyer is always advisable when petitioning the USCIS. In fact, working with a specialized legal representative can itself help accelerate your case.Unlike applicants self-filing forms, attorneys are experts on documentation and processes.
They ensure applications are error-free so USCIS adjudicators have all information to approve petitions faster.Experienced lawyers also have insider knowledge of USCIS workings and policies. They can accurately advise which actions truly impact processing times versus which don’t.Additionally, immigration lawyers have direct liaison channels with USCIS service centers for case follow-ups. While individual applicants may struggle to get clear case updates, lawyers can contact dedicated agency personnel to check application status.
Top immigration law firms like Ashoori Law even have attorneys experienced in drafting winning expedite requests and Congressional letters. Their precise understanding of valid expedite grounds cuts document back-and-forth so clients have the best shot at faster case resolution.So consulting a skilled immigration lawyer brings purposeful expertise into your application process. Lawyers optimize administrative procedures, forms, and communications tailored to your unique situation. Their hands-on guidance goes a long way in reducing decision timelines.
- Carefully prepare error-free applications to avoid delays and Requests for Evidence. Include all required forms, fees, and supporting documents.
- Consider Premium Processing for employment petitions and certain non-immigrant visas. The $2,500 fee guarantees processing within 45 calendar days.
- Submit an Expedite Request if you can demonstrate severe financial loss, a humanitarian situation, or error by the USCIS.
- Engage your U.S. Representative to contact the USCIS about pending case inquiries. Congressional outreach often speeds up applications.
- Hire an experienced immigration attorney to optimize administrative procedures and correspondences based on insider knowledge. Lawyers can also follow-up appropriately with the USCIS.
While most immigration cases take many months for decisions, you’re not entirely at the mercy of the system. Strategically utilizing these 5 methods can compel the USCIS to fast-track your application and resolve case delays.
With some effort and the right approach, getting a quicker adjudication is absolutely possible. Stay proactive and use these proven tips to expedite your immigration petition now!