The U.S. is one of the most popular countries in the world to relocate and start a new life. However, getting a U.S. visa can be a difficult and lengthy process. The U.S. Department of State estimates that there is currently a green card backlog of nearly 4 million applications waiting to be processed. This backlog is causing long wait times and uncertainty for would-be immigrants.
Green Card Backlog History
Since 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected the Department of State’s ability to process immigrant visa applications. U.S. embassies and consulates are slowly making progress to resume visas. However, the pandemic has continued to severely impact the number of visas embassies and consulates abroad are able to process.
On Feb. 2, 2021, the Administration issued the Executive Order on Restoring Faith in our Legal Immigration Systems. This ruling was aimed to improve legal immigration systems restoration efforts and strengthening integration and inclusion efforts for new Americans.
The Department of State’s NVC saw a decrease in the immigrant visa backlog. It went from 408,456 pending cases in February to 388,908 cases in March — almost a 5% decrease in one month’s time.
Progress in Processing Applicants
The number of green card applicants whose cases were documentarily complete and ready to be scheduled for an interview decreased slightly this month. It shrank from 444,828 to 439,131 (a decrease of only about 6,000 cases). A case that is considered “documentarily complete” is a case in which all the required forms and documents have been submitted and accepted by the NVC, and therefore the case is ready for interview scheduling.
Despite the minimal decrease in case counts, the number of people scheduled for green card interviews saw a significant jump. The NVC scheduled 50,223 interviews in March, compared to 36,372 interviews in February. Even with these efforts, the visa backlog is still a major issue. It is more important than ever that an applicant have everything in order prior to getting in line for an interview. Contact Roberson Law today for a consultation.