Why is my Case Taking so Long?

Why is USCIS taking so long on my visa or permanent residency application?

Lets talk about delays in immigration case processing and answer the question “Why is USCIS taking so long to process my case?.”

The process to apply for fiance or spouse visa or adjustment of status requires submitting applications to USCIS. It can be very frustrating to wait for results. It feels as if the wheels of U.S. immigration grind very very slowly.


Here are the top six reasons why your case might be delayed.

Number 1. The office handling your case is busy.

The administrators of USCIS trys to balance the load of cases being processed by distributing them among various service centers. Regardless of this effort often some service centers get overwhelmed and their output greatly slows.

This is especially true when there changes in requirements are made, or when fees increase resulting in a greater than normal number applications arriving at the same time.

Number 2. Problem with your mailing address.

USCIS snail mails hard copies of notices to you. Should there be an error in how USCIS typed your address or any kind of delivery problem by the post office your notice is returned to USCIS.

A hold on processing of your case immediately begins. It is critical to make sure that USCIS gets a legible copy of your mailing address. And once the process starts you track at the USCIS website the progress of your case to notice if a missed delivery occurs so that you can quickly take action to advise USCIS and correct the mailing problem.

Number 3. Request for evidence(rfe).

If USCIS finds your application is missing some information processing will be halted and a request for further Evidence sent to you. It is critical to reply to the RFE as soon as possible and to monitor that USCIS has received your response in order for the case to get back on track.

Number 4. FBI Background Check

The FBI is tasked to run a background check on you. If your name is common or there are a lot of files to be found regarding your history then delays may occur.

Number 5. Your file has been misplaced.

Sometimes your file gets lost. Processing stops as the right person no longer has your case on his desk. USCIS publishes what expected normal processing time should be for various cases. Once your case has exceeded the policy guidelines then it’s a good time to contact USCIS to chase Your Case. If it was lost this will help alert them to the problem and the case should get found again.

Number 6. Your payment got lost.

Rare but still occasionally happens is that the payment you sent along with your application somehow got separated from the application package. To avoid this be sure to list petitioner and beneficiaries name and the type of application on the check’s memo field and preferably use your personal checking account so that you can monitor when and if the check clears. And if needed you will have proof that they did cash your check.

By Fred Wahl
the VisaCoach