In a previous article, we discussed that all green card holders have to wait considerably longer for their U.S. citizenship applications to be processed than in years past. (“Wait Time for U.S. Citizenship Applications Has Doubled”)
The following are likely the two main reasons why the wait time and backlogs have risen so significantly:
- In 2014, under the Obama administration, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) made significant changes to the citizenship application form. These changes include; a much more lengthy application form, with more technical terms, and a new test that includes more difficult questions on history and civics. These changes created a lengthy and difficult application process for non-native English speakers.
- Under the Trump administration, USCIS is investigating thousands of old citizenship applications for fraud, seeking to rescind citizenship if it finds errors. This policy has resulted in a decrease in USCIS’s processing rate and further delays in an already lengthy application process.
The average wait time and backlogs have increased under both the Obama and Trump administrations. According to a report from the National Partnership for new Americans, there has been a 35% increase in the backlog from July, 2017 to July, 2018. There has been a 77% increase since July, 2016.
Currently, all green card holders have to wait much longer for their U.S. citizenship applications to be processed than in years past. To avoid additional delays in obtaining approval of your application, you need to ensure that your application is accurate and complete. You also need to be prepared to answer the questions posed at the interview and provide the required documents at that time.
Our experienced immigration attorneys can assist you in preparing your application packet, and advise you on what to expect at the interview to ensure a smooth approval process. For additional questions on the U.S. citizenship process, or any other immigration matter, contact our attorneys at 312.641.0771.