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What is Going on at the National Benefits Center?

What’s going on at the National Benefit Center. Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our offices in St. Louis, San Diego and Washington DC. Yes, we are in St. Louis. We are right across the state of Missouri or the state of Missouri, as those in the know like to call it.

Across the state of Missouri from the National Benefit Center. That’s a USCIS facility that began around 2001. And which is in charge of processing. The applications filed by people for Green Card benefits and for other benefits. They do the initial processing, the organizing.

When you file for a Green Card, you’re usually filing it at a lockbox. Depending on where you live, you’re filing it at various locations around the country. The National Benefit Center is a huge facility on the Western side of Missouri, where the USCIS employees do the actual processing of your case. Now, we all know that USCIS is desiring or claiming that they’re headed towards a paperless office, but I can only imagine the National Benefit Center is this huge warehouse of paper, because I’ve seen the files in an individual immigration USCIS officer’s office. And I’ve seen how messy and stacked up that is.

In my mind, I’m envisioning that sloth lady from the Zootopia, who’s just moving very slowly. And I see these stacks and stacks of files, and I see their eyes glazed over. And maybe they’re taking a little nap leaning back in their chair. And then going, “Oh, let’s look at this person’s Green Card application today. Now, some of it might be digital. Some of it might be online. And perhaps it’s a little bit more efficient than that sloth.

But what’s going on at the National Benefit Center is not a whole lot. They’re not moving very fast. They’re not moving cases very quickly. I know of no metrics that they’re placed under, no supervision or tracking of how fast they are performing. Of course, speed is not in the USCIS playbook. And for the last four years under President Trump, they were baking in more and more delay by requiring all these ridiculous extra checks and supervisor checks, all in a design to slow down immigration to the United States.

They have achieved their mission. And ground zero for that mission is the National Benefit Center. Because it is there that the cases are first analyzed and then problems identified. And so, that’s where you’ll get your request for evidence from. That’s where you’ll get your notices of intent to deny. That’s where the gatekeepers at the National Benefit Center can keep your case from actually going to a field office for interviews. There’s a lot of back and forth between the field offices and the National Benefit Center.

You might hear an officer talk on the 1800 number or at the window about having to get the file back from the National Benefit Center. It’s just the place where cases get processed originally shortly after you file it after the filing fee is accepted. The contractors have moved the file onto USCIS field officers for interviews.

That’s everything I know about the National Benefit Center. If you have questions about the National Benefit Center, or if you are wondering how your processing is going, give us a call at (314) 961-8200. You can email us at info@hackinglawpractice.com. Be sure to join us on our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home.

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