A huge backlog of immigration applications has correlated to new records for waiting time. High skilled immigrants wishing to work and innovate are facing long delays in processing.
The U.S. is always slower than other countries when it comes to processing immigration applications for skilled workers, actually when compared to other English speaking countries.
In the UK for example, high skilled immigrant applications can be processed within one day, although they take years in America. While Covid did not help this process, it is not the cause of the delays or backlog. These wait times have been years in the making. Here a few proposals for reforms to be put in place by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and other agencies to decrease the backlog.
Here are some policy recommendations from the Manhattan Institute:
🔼 USCIS should provide premium processing for every benefit that is provided to immigrants. This can cut back the backlog within approximately five years and guarantees a limit on how long the process will take.
🔼 The money that comes from these applications should be allocated towards hiring more officers to work in the immigration department which will intern make the processing time much faster.
🔼 Retired adjudicator such as judges can be offered opportunities to come back to support either in a part or full-time position. This would give those employees time to make additional income and collect their retirement while supporting the onboarding of new staff.
🔼 Provide work authorizations (I-765) only to those who are non-citizens and strictly requiring it. This will lessen the amount of work that USCIS needs to complete while giving an authorization to millions of immigrants every year and having their documents in hand months earlier.
🔼 Offering visa stamping within the borders of the United States of America.
🔼 Filing should be available online for every single immigration form related to employment
🔼 H-1B, O-1, and L-1 visa holders as well as their dependence, should be receiving automatic revalidation on these documents. They should apply to other allied countries as well.
🔼 Immigrants should have the right to downgrade their EB filing category via the USCIS website.