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USCIS Breaks Records and Reduces Backlogs in FY 2023

USCIS cleared its case backlog, sped up citizenship processing, facilitated work visas, and aided refugees

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced its achievements for the fiscal year 2023, marking significant progress in its goal to improve the immigration process in the U.S. With a self-proclaimed focus on enhancing customer experience and expediting employment-based immigration, naturalization, and humanitarian efforts, USCIS has successfully reduced its backlog of cases for the first time in over a decade.

Breaking Records and Reducing Backlogs

In an unprecedented effort, USCIS handled over 10.9 million case filings and completed over 10 million, effectively reducing its backlog by 15%. A notable highlight includes administering the Oath of Allegiance to over 878,500 new U.S. citizens, eliminating the backlog of naturalization applications. This feat also saw the processing time for naturalization applicants drop from 10.5 months to 6.1 months.

Enhancing the Customer Experience

USCIS introduced several technological advancements aimed at simplifying the immigration process for applicants. Innovations such as a self-service tool for rescheduling biometrics appointments and a new system for online address changes have significantly improved how applicants interact with USCIS, reducing the need for phone inquiries and making the process more seamless.

Supporting Employment-Based Immigration

USCIS has also made substantial progress in supporting U.S. employers and foreign workers. By issuing more than 192,000 employment-based immigrant visas and extending the validity period of Employment Authorization Documents to five years, USCIS said it’s addressing the needs of the U.S. labor market while ensuring that no available visas go unused.

Advancing Humanitarian Efforts

The agency has doubled its efforts in humanitarian work, interviewing over 100,000 refugee applicants and admitting over 60,000 refugees for resettlement. USCIS’s dedication to providing protection to those fleeing oppression and violence is evident in its completion of a record number of credible fear and reasonable fear screenings, and its support for various initiatives aimed at offering safe and lawful pathways for individuals seeking refuge in the U.S.

Looking Forward

As USCIS moves into fiscal year 2024, it continues to focus on reducing processing delays and maintaining efficient service. With new fee schedules introduced to support operational costs and the expansion of its workforce, USCIS is poised to continue its mission of improving the immigration system. The agency’s commitment to processing a historically high number of protection screenings and increasing refugee admissions highlights its ongoing dedication to fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment for immigrants.

This year’s accomplishments reflect USCIS’s unwavering dedication to upholding America’s promise as a nation of welcome and possibility. Through innovative solutions and a focused approach to addressing both employment-based and humanitarian needs, USCIS is setting a new standard for excellence in immigration services.

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