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USCIS Background Check Delay: How Long Will it Take?

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The Process of Getting a USCIS Background Check
Find Out the Status of Your Background Check
What’s Next?

How will I know my security check is complete?

Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, an immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our offices in St. Louis, San Diego, and Washington, DC.

In today’s video, we’re talking about security checks and background checks. Everyone, I think, is aware that when you apply for most immigration benefits, they will conduct a background check on you. Typically, this is accomplished by going to your local application support center, ASC, and taking your fingerprints and picture.

The Process of Getting a USCIS Background Check

We did a video the other day about how Donald Trump wanted to expand those biometrics recordings and all the information and data they wanted to gather. Still, luckily the Biden administration has put the kibosh on that. This immigration process is a little different, and that will not happen. 

However, you must first get fingerprinted and have your picture taken. Once your fingerprints are complete, those are sent off to the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, and they do a whole workup of your entire history. They are pretty accurate and pretty good about what they find in your criminal background.

So, consider these two scenarios when getting yourself up for the FBI fingerprint check process:

  • If you’re thinking about applying for an immigration benefit, make sure that you are not setting yourself up for possible deportation or removal.

If you have a serious crime, you need to talk to an immigration lawyer before filing for that immigration benefit.

Once you do and get fingerprinted, background checks usually take six to eight weeks, maybe 12 weeks. Now, they will give you that as a response for months and months. They’ll tell you about the USCIS background check delay or security check long after the case is over. And that can be frustrating for people.

Find Out the Status of Your Background Check

They want to know, Jim, how will I know when my biometrics have been checked and my background checked? When will I know that it’s finished?

And sadly, you don’t. They might tell you that your cylinder background checks are complete. But remember, I always say it doesn’t matter until you have your interview. It doesn’t matter until you have your immigration benefits.

So when they’re telling you about a background or security check, that’s just their way of saying we’re delaying your case. You have to learn how to translate that language. If they’re saying background check or security check, they’re just slow walking your case and taking their own sweet time. So if you are sick and tired of hearing about background or security checks, if you’ve been waiting for years, they’re lying. And they're just not going to decide your case unless you sue them, so it's better to seek help from a trusted immigration attorney.

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You don’t get a letter in the mail when your security check is complete. And even you don’t get a notification that your background check has been reviewed. All that happens as the case starts to move again. So, it's just another one of these B.S. rationales used to slow people's cases, and they don't give you any accurate information. As I said many times, calling the 1-800 number is usually a waste of time. And if they’re telling you about a background check, that means there’s something about your case that they’re worried about or want to slow-walk your case.

What’s Next?

I hope this answers your questions. So, don't get too frustrated waiting for quote-unquote background checks to be complete. But if you have questions about the U.S. citizenship and immigration services (USCIS) process, you can call us at (314) 961-8200. Also, you can email us at [email protected].

Be sure to join us in our Facebook group called Immigrant Home. Also, we'd love it if you'd subscribe to our YouTube channel so that you get updated when we upload a new video daily. And then, see you on the Immigration Answers Show, as I'll do live on our Facebook and YouTube channels. I will answer as many of your immigration and other law enforcement concerns as possible.

Thanks a lot, and have a great day.

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