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Citizenship (N-400) Processing Time Increase

The processing time for citizenship applications has been increasing and it has more than doubled since 2014. The average processing time used to be 5-6 months and it has now increased to nearly two years.

The delay in processing time may be attributable to the Trump administration building a ‘second wall’ to prevent green card holders from becoming citizens - and therefore, preventing more immigrants from becoming eligible to vote against him. 

The director of the University of Southern California’s Center for the Study of Immigration Integration, Manuel Pastor said, “People are motivated to participate, and they’re being frustrated from being able to participate in the elections they’re excited about.”

Many other petitions and applications have seen severe backlogs as well. Now, while the processing time has increased to more than 10 months, in certain jurisdictions it is more than double this. According to official estimates, it takes 22 months in Atlanta and 26 months in parts of Texas.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) says that the delay is because of the surge in applications and not because processing has slowed down. In a report by Diego Iniguez-Lopez, who is a spokesman for the National Partnership for New Americans, ‘The newest data from USCIS, which provides information for the first quarter of fiscal year 2018 states: From the period 'covering October 1 to December 31, 2017, shows an enormous backlog of 729,400 applications for citizenship. This represents an 87.59% increase in the backlog of citizenship applications over the last two years.’

Immigration advocates who are working on increasing voter turnout will soon focus attention on encouraging people to apply for citizenship (through naturalization) so that they can be eligible to vote in the 2020 elections.

Try to find out when you are eligible to apply for citizenship and start your process at sooner than later. Work with an authorized immigration attorney who can help you take the right step at the right time.

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Immigration law can be complicated and this article does not exhaust all the circumstances surrounding delays in processing N-400, Citizenship Applications. These issues can be extremely complex, and a single misstep could potentially lead to a rejection of your application or other immigration penalties. If you have any questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

Call our law firm for a free consultation today at: (949) 478-4936.