The Intricacies of Navigating the USCIS Processing Times Maze

For those familiar with the landscape of the U.S. immigration system, it often feels like navigating a challenging maze rather than a straightforward path. A significant aspect of this intricate journey is the USCIS Processing Times – an area full of bends, forks, and sometimes dead ends. Let’s venture into this maze together, ensuring we stay alert and oriented throughout.

The Evolution of USCIS Processing Times

In recent years, USCIS has been dynamically updating how it showcases its processing times, tweaking its calculation methods, and introducing tools for customers to monitor. A notable shift was witnessed in May 2022, when USCIS revamped its processing times page. This restructuring aimed to enhance clarity and foster a better understanding of how timelines were derived. The platform now offers insights into the processing times for 80% of cases based on different parameters.

However, despite efforts to streamline this process, users, including immigration attorneys, often find themselves at crossroads, trying to predict the duration it would take for the agency to handle a particular case.

Discrepancies in Processing Times: A Case Study

Consider an instance where an individual submits a category c(9) work authorization application. The official processing times page might display that 80% of such cases conclude within 11.5 months. However, upon digging deeper, users encounter inconsistencies. The USCIS Historic Processing Times page, for instance, showcases a median processing time that is drastically different from the primary page, leading to ambiguity.

USCIS’s new addition, the myProgress page, while aiming to offer tailored processing time estimates, sometimes lacks consistency. It restricts inquiries to cases exceeding the 93rd percentile period, and often, attorneys don’t have access, resulting in more chaos and miscommunication.

Seeking Solutions: AILA’s Recommendations

Acknowledging USCIS’s attempts to offer transparent processing times, AILA commends the effort. However, there’s a growing consensus that the information could be more structured and user-friendly. AILA’s recent feedback to USCIS emphasized this, suggesting granular reporting of processing times and advocating for a simplified follow-up procedure.

For a system as vital as the U.S. immigration, it’s crucial for USCIS to refine its processes, making them less like a challenging maze and more like a clear, linear path. The onus is on USCIS to simplify this journey, benefiting both clients and their representing attorneys.

If you or your family members have any questions about how immigration and nationality laws in the United States may affect you, or if you want to access additional information about immigration and nationality laws in the United States or Canada, please don’t hesitate to contact the immigration and nationality lawyers at NPZ Law Group. You can reach us by emailing or by calling us at 201-670-0006 extension 104. We also invite you to visit our website at for more information.