Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting with a nice mother from Egypt. She naturalized about seven years ago and lives in St. Louis County, Missouri. After she became a citizen, she immediately filed an I-130 family based visa for her son who lives in Cairo. His case has been pending since 2006 and she wanted to know if there was anything that we could do to speed up her son's case. The reason her son's case is taking so long is that Congress has only alloted a certain number of visas each year and there is currently a backlog of nearly seven years for these types of cases.
We receive phone calls and emails to the office from time to time, asking if we can do anything to speed up the wait at USCIS and/or the State Department. While there are certainly ways to speed up naturalization cases that have been delayed at USCIS, there is not that much that can be done in this type of case. We definitely tell people to keep their mailing address updated with both USCIS and the National Visa Center. We also recommend getting the help of an immigration attorney who can at least keep track of the case and help make sure that nothing falls through the cracks. But at the end of the day, there is not really anything else to do. Asking for Congressional help will not accomplish anything because it is not possible to "jump the line." Keeping track of the visa bulletin can help, but it does not actually speed things along.
This particular Egyptian mother was very persistent. I was struck by how much she cared about her son and how she really wanted to try any and all legal means to get him here. Although we were not able to assist her with this particular family based visa situation, she greatly appreciated the guidance we gave her and the knowledge that she had done everything possible to help speed up her son's case.
The good news for this family is that his visa is about 12 months from processing, assuming that the processing rate stays constant (which you can't always assume).
If you need help with a family or spouse based visa or if you think our firm might be help you with a different type of delay case, please call the Hacking Immigration Law at (314) 961-8200.