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November 22, 2021
13 ways to solve the US immigration backlogs

☝ The biggest problem in the US Immigration system right now is related to the
tremendous delays and backlogs with the processing of Family Unification visas (called
Immigrant Visas). US Citizen or Green Card holder people can file for their closest family
members abroad to bring the relatives to US. 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦Many of them have all the documents
submitted and processed and just need to get an interview to be able to come to US
with a Green Card. 
 
AILA (American Immigration Lawyer Association) has suggested the following things to be done by USCIS and Department of State to solve the immigrant visa backlog crisis.
 
🔶 Reasonable and affordable increase of fees for Immigrant visa processing with
waiver options for those in need. There is no fee increase for special immigrants and
those who ask for humanitarian parole.

There are a options for those looking to waive the fee increase or who don’t qualify for a
fee waiver. ☎️ Give us a call if you have questions: 718-769-6352
 
🔶 Simplify vaccine requirements for those who have a hard time getting one by
giving options and allowance for non-WHO-approved vaccines or providing negative
Covid test before travel and upon arrival.

The US government is trying to make it easier for the people who have a difficult time
getting a vaccine to get one. The newly announced plan will make more vaccines
available for people who need them and make them cheaper for those who can’t afford
them.

🔶 Significant increase in the number of consular officer positions. Creat at least 500
new consular officer positions;

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is taking steps towards
improving its visa processing system in order to accommodate for the increasing
number of immigrant visa applications. One way they are doing this is by adding more
consular officers in embassies abroad who will process visas for immigrants coming to
America. The USCIS wants to create 500 new consular officer positions, in both high-
volume and low-volume embassies, all over the world, which will help them work on
visas much faster than before when there were not enough officers overseas.

🔶 Promote local staff employees to handle some visa types and certain cases.

🔶 Calling back retired Foreign Service Officers for assistance.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is requesting retired Foreign Service
Officers who are eligible for re-hire to apply for positions in the federal government.
Former FSOTs are being requested to apply to fill positions at USCIS, which is the
branch of the Department of Homeland Security that addresses issues pertaining to
immigration services. The USCIS has been tasked with carrying out Trump’s directive of
tightening rules on immigration in accordance with Executive Order 13780, “Protecting
the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals” issued in March 2017.

The USCIS hires foreign service officers in a variety of fields, including law enforcement,
security investigations, diplomatic affairs and linguistic capabilities.

🔶 Allow adjudicating cases remotely 
A recent development in the US immigration law system allows adjudicating cases
remotely. The goal of this system is to simplify and shorten the time taken for
adjudication of these cases while ensuring that security and accuracy are maintained.
 
🔶 More options for interview waivers, virtual interviews, and remote processing for
non-immigrant visas, so they can have more time for immigrant visa cases;

The US Government is looking to make immigration process simpler for people who are
applying for non-immigrant visas. This is one of the major reasons why they are
opening up more interview waivers, virtual interviews, and remote processing for non-
immigrant visas. They are also making it easier to apply for these visas by reducing the
number of paperwork that needs to be filed.

This change will help greatly in increasing the efficiency of visa processing. It will also
decrease the time that applicants spend waiting in line at consulates around the world.

🔶 Allowing Secure virtual visa interviews for both IV (immigrant visa) and NIV (non
immigrant visa) eligible applicants. They are already piloting such visa interviews for
kids under two in US Embassy in Jerusalem.  

The US State Department is launching a Virtual Visa Interview (VVI) process that will
allow qualified applicants to schedule interviews on the US Embassies and Consulates.
The VVI program has been developed for those who are not eligible for an in-person
interview, such as those who work or live more than one hour away from the nearest
consular office, or those who cannot afford to make an overseas trip.

🔶 Allowing an attorney to attend their clients IV and NIV interviews in person or by
teleconference; There is no longer a requirement that an immigration attorney attend his
client’s visa interview in person.

It is possible to attend a client’s visa interview by telephone or video conference and
many immigration attorneys are now taking advatage of video conference technology to
attend their clients’ visa interviews.

There are three basic requirements for attorneys to be able to use teleconferencing for
their clients’ visa interviews. One, the attorney must have an active license to practice
law in the state where the interview takes place. Two, the attorney must have a current
and valid passport issued by a US embassy or consulate. Three, the attorney must not
be on any list that prohibits them from traveling outside of the United States.

The reason that many attorneys are now using remote attendance as opposed to in-
person is because it has been shown as more cost-effective and expedient than having
someone travel for a single interview with one client.

🔶 Permission to apply for an immigrant visa in other countries where applicants are
physically present or where they can travel regardless of their citizenship or permanent
residency. 

This would make it easier for people who would otherwise need to wait at least 12
months before getting their visa approved. These people will be able to get the process
done faster, which is good news for them and their families.

🔶 Recapture unused Immigrant Visas (quotas that were never satisfied but allocated
by US Immigration) in 2020 and 2021. Avoid the loss of unallocated visas in the future
This will also prevent the loss of unallocated visas in the future. With increasing demand
for skilled employees in America, this act will help to fulfill that need. It is important to
note that this act has bipartisan support- both democrats and republicans are behind it.
This makes it more likely to pass than other immigration bills which have failed in recent
years.

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Shepelsky Law Group
US Immigration Experts
Tel: (718)769-6352


(718) 419-36-36