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Old 04-27-2009, 07:10 PM
eb3_nepa eb3_nepa is offline
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Default Has anyone read this on Matthew Oh's website?

Not sure if this has been posted before. If not here goes. This is on

Does IV know anything about this?

04/25/2009: On-Going USCIS Efforts to Reduce Backlog in Employment-Based Immigration Applications

Lately, I-140 and EB-485 applicants have been receiving envelopes from the Service Centers with their long-awaited approval notices, particularly those cases which were filed during and after the FY 2007 July Visa Bulletin fiasco period. Along with the development, information has been released by the stake-holder agencies of the Department of State and the USCIS indicating that there has been efforts on the part of the USCIS to eliminate employment-based immigation backlogs. In releasing the May 2009 Visa Bulletin, the State Department confirmed that the USCIS had been taking out EB visa numbers en masse exhausting all the EB-3 visa numbers available for the rest of FY 2009. This report is consistent with the information released by the USCIS on its projected processing time to four months for the employment-based I-140 petitions and EB-485 applications by the end of FY 2009, which is September 30, 2009. The goal appears to have contributed to the exhaustion of annually allocated employment-based visa numbers so that no EB visa numbers be unused or wasted by the end of FY 2009. The commitment to this goal of the USCIS is reaffirmed by yesterday's release of Mr. Michael Ayte's report on the employment-based visa processing times in the Leadership Journal of the DHS. Considering a huge backlog and processing delays in the employment-based immigration petitions and 485 applications for almost two years as affected primarily by the FY 2007 July Visa Bulletin fiasco, the recent event that evolved in the USCIS processing time change is certainly a welcome news for waiters who have suffered from the past backlogs.
What have tirbuted to this change? The long-term strategy for reduction of processing times for immigration benefits applications appears to be launch of "Transformation Program" that intended to achieve reduction of processing times by turning current paper-based application and processing system into complete electronization system and process focusing on the concept of digital "account" databases within approximately a period of five years. However, this program has experienced a snag. However, lately the DHS disclosed its multi-billion dollar contract with the IBM for two programs. One is to convert all the existing files and date into digitazition and the other is to develop and implement electronic application and processing system. Reportedly, for this purpose, the IBM reenforced its operation in India and the work is underway. However, report indicates that the first phase appears to focus on the digitazation of existing database rather than implementation of electronic application and processing system. Overall, the goal of the contract appears to be completed in the next five years. It thus appears that the current efforts of elimination of backlogs within this fiscal year do not rely on the progress of this program. The big momentum was created by the Congress appropriating fund for USCIS human resources. Thanks to the Congress action to give fund for hiring additional 2,000 resources, the USCIS recxruited and trained new hires who joined the USCIS field offices including Service Centers and local district and field offices, initially focusing on the job of elimination of huge naturalization applications. USCIS had been reporting that the hurdle for reduction of employment-based immigration cases was the mountain of naturalization applications that poured in around the time of FY 2007 July Visa Bulletin fiasco. Now, the naturalization application backlog is under control, inreased resources are becoming available for the employment-based immigration files. Another important factor that has contributed to the agency's recent move was the implementation name-check reduction agreement between the FBI and the DHS and the USCIS policy to complete adjudicaion of EB-485 applications when the FBI name check failed to complete within 180 days. The third factor that cannot be discounted nor minimized is the new DHS leadership's move and commitment for the elimination of the employment-based immigration case backlogs. As people may recall, the Secretary Napolitano of the DHS issued a directive to report the state of backlogs in the immigration benefit applications and the USCIS leaders plan for reduction or elimination of such backlogs. With all of the above developments combined, the employment-based immgrant community is continuously expected to witness the reduction of processing times, at least for a short term. However, long-term reduction or elimination of EB case processing backlog is likely to depend on success of the IBM contract digitization program of the USCIS. This needs continuing internal and external political support, and we hope that the Congress extends its strong support, particularly considering importance of the successful reengineering program to accomodate the potentially forthcoming avalanche and flood gate opening for case loads for the USCIS when the country passes the Comprehensive Immigration Reform legislation.
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