We live in unprecedented times! COVID-19 pandemic has made a significant impact on the processing and issuance of green cards. On April 23, 2020, the Presidential Proclamation that suspended the entry of immigrants who would be considered a risk to the U.S. Labor Market during the economic recovery following COVID-19 went into effect.
Under this Proclamation, decisions on certain green card applications that were filed from outside the United States are and continue to be delayed for at least 60 days, starting April 23, 2020. Fortunately, this ban does not apply to spouses or minor children of U.S. citizens.
Impact on Green Card Applications
The application process for a green card (adjustment of status) and naturalization that were filed in the United States are also being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. USCIS has temporarily suspended routine in-person services, such as Biometric Services Appointments and Naturalization Oath Ceremonies, until June 4, 2020.
USCIS Processing Times Increase Significantly
With the suspension of the USCIS Field Offices’ operations, due to the pandemic, the processing times for Green Card and Naturalization applications have increased significantly.
If prior to the pandemic, average processing time for an adjustment of status application was 5 to 7 months, it is now stretching into 8 to 12 months. With the naturalization applications processing times having increased as well from 3 to 5 months to 7 to 10 months. This backlog trend will continue until there is a complete reopening of the economy not only in the U.S. but worldwide.
For more information please see the USCIS response to COVID-19 or read the Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak.
If you have questions about green cards, your immigration status, or are in need of legal assistance, please contact us. We are offering free immigration consultations to active frontline first responders and their families.