Why is my service center so damn slow? Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our offices in San Diego, California and St. Louis, Missouri. In this video, we’re going to talk about processing times. And I know that everybody who is waiting for an immigration benefit, whether it’s for someone here in the United States or for someone overseas, spend a lot of time thinking about processing times and really getting caught up in processing times. And I get it. You’re separated from your spouse. You’re separated from your family member. Or you want an immigration benefit yourself, and you’re really getting frustrated. And you look at these processing times, and you see that some service centers are processing cases much more quickly than other service centers.
And I say it like that because of my braces, and I have a hard time saying service center with my braces on. But anyway, we see a great disparity, a great difference between the processing times at Service Center A or Service Center B, and sometimes the California service center is the fastest. Sometimes the one in Potomac is, or sometimes the National Benefit Center seems fast or slow, and people really, really, really get bent out of shape on these processing times.
And at the end of the day, I think it does you no good because despite the hundreds of thousands of cases that USCIS handles, they handle each case differently. Some cases go very quickly, and some cases go very slowly. For instance, we filed a couple of I-130s last year about eight months ago. One of the cases is already finished, and the other case doesn’t even have their interview yet. Can I, Jim Hacking someone who has handled hundreds of these cases tell the difference between the two cases or figure out why one case goes faster than the other? No. I have my own theories as to things that USCIS does that slow cases down, especially racial profiling, religious profiling, things like that.
But at the end of the day, every single case is different. And you’re going to be much happier and much calmer and much more serene, which means peaceful, if you just go with the flow. Make sure that your case gets reseated. Make sure that you get fingerprinted. Follow along gently, but don’t live and die on the processing times stated by USCIS with each passing day. And the main reason you don’t want to get too caught up in it is it’s all BS. It’s all made up. Who cares what those numbers mean? They don’t mean anything. It doesn’t say anything about your case. And USCIS is completely dishonest when it comes to what cases they’re processing. You can’t put any weight, and I mean this, any weight in processing times or in trying to game the system or figure out which service center is faster.
You can’t ask for your case to be transferred from one service center to another. That’s a decision that only USCIS can make. Now, they say that they’ll do it for workload reasons, and I know if that’s true or not. Now in essence, and when you do try to move your case, or when a case is moved from one service center to another, that actually slows your case down. It might sound like you’re going to someplace faster, but just the simple fact of moving your case takes a while for the file to transfer.
My long and short advice when it comes to processing times, when it comes to service centers is don’t get too caught up in it. Don’t spend too much time thinking about it. Certainly don’t spend too much time worrying about it. What you should be focused on are the things that you can change. The things that you can change are the strength of your case, the evidence that you’re developing, how prepared you’re going to be for your interview, those kinds of things. So much of this other part of the process is out of your control. As long as you file the strongest case possible, you should just sit back and wait, and your case will be processed in due time.
Some take longer, some take slower. I know that’s easy for me to say because I was born in the United States. I get that. But at the end of the day, you’re going to get an ulcer if you’re riding that wave, clicking every other day on the processing times for each of the service centers. You’re going to drive yourself insane, and you’re going to drive the people around you insane. Don’t play that game. Don’t spend too much time or energy on that. Instead, you should join our Facebook group. It’s called Immigrant Home. We talk about these things in here all the time. In fact, all the questions for this week came right out of Immigrant Home.
When I needed a list of questions to shoot this week’s videos, I went straight to Immigrant Home, and I’m trying to answer as many people’s questions as possible. You can always call us, 314-961-8200. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And then we have a YouTube channel. You should feel free to subscribe to that YouTube channel. And then don’t forget on most Tuesdays and Thursdays when I’m not traveling, at noon central time usually, you’ll find me live in the Facebook group and on the YouTube channel answering as many of your immigration related questions as we can in under one hour. Thanks a lot, and have a great day.