USCIS I-485 PROCESSING DELAYS MAY LEAD TO ANOTHER ROUND OF WASTED EMPLOYMENT-BASED GREEN CARDS—TEMPLATE LETTER TO REPRESENTATIVES
Employment-based adjustment of status applicants continues to experience extremely long processing delays of their I-485s. The increase in visas available for FY 2021 provided hope that the backlog could be reduced significantly. Instead, due to inaction on USCIS’s part, 80,000 employment-based visas were not processed in time and were wasted.
According to the most recent correspondence from the United States Senate dated October 21, 2021, the Senate acknowledges that nearly 30,000 more employment-based visas will be available than those available in FY21 and is urging USCIS to process as many employment-based visas as possible during FY22. Should USCIS again fail to address the backlog and fail to improve the current processing delays, upwards of 150,000 additional visas will be discarded and wasted.
At this point, it is extremely important to alert your Representative to the issue. While it may be easier to simply re-tweet posts on twitter or click here to sign a petition, a letter sharing your personal story will have a greater chance of motivating your representative to put pressure on USCIS to fix this issue in time. Below you will find a template for a letter (email) you can personalize and send.
For Sending a Letter by Email to Your House Representative:
You can find the name and website of your Representative by going to https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative. You can then click on your Representative’s website and find the button for Contact -> Email Me. When addressing your email, you can use the following format:
Dear Representative (last name):
My name is __________, and I am writing this letter to urge you to encourage USCIS to fix their processing times for Employment-Based Form I-485 applications. These processing delays not only keep me from realizing the American Dream, but more importantly, they will cause thousands of Employment-Based Immigrant Visa Numbers to be wasted.
Congress set the annual worldwide level for employment-based preference immigrants at at least 140,000 in Section 201 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. In FY 2022, the annual limit is expected to be approximately 290,000, an all-time high, USCIS has failed to take steps to maximize number use. Simply put, the agency is not processing pending applications fast enough. There are thousands of applications for adjustment of status pending with USCIS. USCIS must take steps to ensure that the similar waste that occurred in FY 2021 where 80,000 green cards were unused and discarded does not occur again during FY 2022 where there are currently 150,000 additional green cards available for use. USCIS Office of Policy and Strategy is fully aware of this time constraint, yet Employment-Based adjustment applications:
are taking 10 to 18.5 months to adjudicate at the Nebraska Service Center; and
are taking 10 to 18.5 months to adjudicate at the Texas Service Center.
At these rates, thousands of immigrant visas will be wasted, again, while we wait upon USCIS to act on its pending applications. Congress should not stand for such a waste of government resources.
I am a _____job title_____ and have been living and working in the United States pursuant to a temporary work visa since ____date____. My family has been able to move to the United States and live with me as my dependent(s) by maintaining ____H-4/L-2____ visa status. I have correctly followed all required steps to apply for a green card and have waited _____years for an immigrant visa to be available based on my category and country of birth.
I want to contribute to this country. My work in the field of ___________helps to describe the importance of your work to the US economy or society _______. I have done my best to comply with all the immigration rules of this country. I have been through ____ # of H-1B (or F-1, OPT, L-1, H-4, etc) ______ visa renewals over the years. Every time I want to travel to my home country, I have gone through a visa interview at a U.S. Consulate. The Department of Labor has already confirmed that my presence in the United States does not harm U.S. workers.
Generations of immigrants have come to this country with little more than the clothes on their backs, the hope in their heart, and a desire to claim their own piece of the American Dream. It’s the reason this country has constantly been able to renew itself, to grow better and stronger as a nation, and to meet new challenges. Immigration is essential to who this country is as a nation, its core values, and its aspirations for the future. The United States deserves an immigration system that reflects our highest values as a nation and operates efficiently and effectively within the limits set forth by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act. Please help ensure my family can adjust status without lengthy delays and unnecessary procedures and without wasting available immigrant visa numbers. I urge you to hold USCIS accountable for its processing times and ensure that no immigrant visa you have authorized to be used goes to waste. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.