27 Oct 2021 How To Expedite Your Case At USCIS
For anyone with a pending petition or application, the delays in processing their case at USCIS can be frustrating and can cause tremendous disruption, and unnecessary separation of family members. If this applies to you, you’re not alone. The USCIS has a process or procedure to request your case to be expedited. In this article, I will discuss what types of cases could be eligible for expedited treatment and how to make the request to expedite.
First, the USCIS will consider expedite request only if it meets certain criteria or circumstances:
- Severe financial loss to a company or person. However, the need for urgent action cannot be the result of the person failing to timely request the benefit or respond to requests for additional evidence. For example, did you wait until the last minute to file for an immigration benefit or extension? Also, you have to document to show what exactly is the loss and that the person requesting the expedite cannot “withstand the temporary financial loss that is the natural result of normal processing times.” In other words, everyone under petition is suffering in some manner, as well as the company waiting for them to be able to begin working. Maybe the person holds a key position in a company, and the company may go out of business unless the case is approved immediately.
- Emergencies and urgent humanitarian reasons.
- U.S. government interests. This could include government agencies such as the Department of Defense, Department of Labor, Homeland Security, or other public safety or national security interests.
- Clear USCIS error.
However, the USCIS notes that even if your situation fits one of these categories, it may not warrant expedited processing. For example, if the person wants to expedite a work authorization or student status, that, standing alone, “without any evidence of other compelling factors, does not warrant expedited treatment.” This is likely because everyone wants a work authorization. Therefore, everyone would claim they’re entitled to expedited processing.
Once an expedite request is submitted to USCIS, it may ask for additional evidence and documents to support expedited processing. If you’re lucky enough to get the expedite request approved, it does not mean your actual case is being approved. It simply means the USCIS will take your case out of order and put it to the front of the line and issue a decision faster than the posted processing times.
But the USCIS is extremely reluctant to grant expedite requests, because everyone has their own reason or justification for wanting their case approved faster. Usually USCIS thinks it’s unfair to move anyone to the front of the line, just because they came up with a better excuse or reason. You need to demonstrate and document some extremely critical, out of the ordinary emergency to even have a chance. And of course, I would never guarantee anyone that just because they submit an expedite request, USCIS will be granting it.
But if you truly have a case or situation that meets one of these listed criteria or factors, you may want to consult with an attorney, who can evaluate your situation and if you do meet the requirements, help you package and document the expedite request, provided you meet all other eligibility requirements: there are no other issues or problems in your case, your priority date is current, and the like.
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