VIDEO: Why is my spouse visa taking so long?

Why is my spouse’s immigrant visa from overseas taking so long to process? Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, an immigration attorney practicing law here in St. Louis, Missouri. We’ve been receiving a lot of complaints and concerns from people, both current clients and potential clients about the long delays AT USCIS on overseas spouse visa cases.

These cases are taking way too long to process. It used to be that USCIS would handle the first part of a green card case in just a couple of months, but we’ve seen lately that delays are taking seven or eight months just for the first part of the process.

Now, remember, in every overseas green card case with the U.S. citizen in the United States, the way that it works is that you file the initial forms with USCIS. Like I mentioned, these have been being processed in about three or four months but according to available processing time reports, these are now taking eight or nine months. This significantly slows down the immigrant visa process much to the chagrin of the American citizens waiting for their spouses and for those spouses overseas. Obviously, couples want to be together as quickly as possible.

This makes it very important that you work with a competent immigration attorney because if immigration is delaying each and every case by months and months, imagine what they do with cases in which someone makes a mistake. It’s essential that when you file, that you file a complete and an accurate application that you include all of the required filing fees and supporting documents and that you make your case as approvable as possible.

The one thing you don’t want to do is slow down your case with a request for evidence which is a form that the immigration service sends out when they don’t like something about your application. Our job as immigration attorneys is to streamline the process for you and to try to make sure that if there’s any delays, that it’s only because of delays at USCIS and not on our end of things. We want to make sure that we file a strong application, that your application is complete and includes everything that they want so that we can make it approvable.

Now, what’s the reason for the backlog? Well, I think the main reason is that there’s been a reduction in the amount of resources dedicated to these spouse visa cases. The immigration service has been cutting back, cutting back like many government agencies and one of the areas that they’ve cut is in the number of officers used to adjudicate these I-130 spouse visa applications.

As such, numbers have really spiked. Officers have been sent to handle different kinds of immigration cases and spouse visa overseas are a low priority. Now you may be thinking that fiancee visas are going faster and they are a little bit faster but not much, but of course, with a fiance visa you have to file for the green card after your marriage occurs in the United States and there are additional costs associated with that.

What can you do as someone in the United States who cares about these matters? Well, I think you need to contact your Congressional leaders, your representative and your senator. Let them know that your dissatisfied with the delays at USCIS. Ask that there be more funding put into cases like this. It’s obviously a low priority because it doesn’t involve state security or terrorism concerns generally, and the immigration service in the federal government really doesn’t spend much time concerning itself with the delays of loved ones both here and abroad.

We hope that you take action, that you notify your Congressional representatives that this is not acceptable, that these delays should be cured, that more resources should be afforded to the immigration service to allow them to process these things in a reasonable amount of time, and we really hope that you take action on that.

If you have any questions or want to talk to us about it, give us a call: 314-961-8200 or you can email us: jim@hackinglawpractice.com. Thanks.