Applicants Face Delays in Gaining Citizenship

On January 11th, Federal officials agreed on an emergency plan to reduce the current delay in processing Citizenship applications. Under the terms of the plan which was first proposed by Senator Charles E. Schumer, the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) will  hire back about 700 retired government employees. This is certainly one step in the right direction for the USCIS to address its huge backlog of cases.

According to the agency, the USCIS in July and August of 2007 alone received nearly 2.5 million applications and petitions of all types. This amounts to over a two fold increase in applications that it received for the same time last year. In fact, this fiscal year the agency has received 1.4 million naturalization applications alone. Consequently, the average processing time for naturalization applications filed after June 1, 2007 may take approximately 18 months.

The USCIS plans to hire at least 1,500 new regular employees by the end of this year to address this backlog of cases.

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