Speed Up USCIS Texas Service Center Employment-Based AOS Case Processing

USCIS Texas Service Center should expedite I-485 case processing for certain employment-based adjustment applications.

It has come to my attention that the I-485 case load becomes unbalanced between Texas Service Center (?TSC?) and Nebraska Service Center (?NSC?). The case processing time [1] for employment-based adjustment applications (I-485), as published on USCIS website, is August 4, 2013 for TSC, whereas the timeline for NSC meets the national goal of ?4 months.? To my knowledge, many cases filed at NSC are approved within two to three months from filing to approval, but it?s hardly the case for people whose cases are under review by TSC. Noting that last month?s published processing timeframe for TSC is July 28, 2013, the processing speed is getting slower at TSC, and the problem is expected to persist.

The slowness of processing at TSC has caused significant inconvenience for beneficiaries in the employment-based categories, whose adjustment of status applications are delayed by months just because their addresses are within the jurisdiction of TSC.

What?s worse, this unbalanced work load has more serious impacts for applicants under Employment-based Third Preference (EB-3) category. Under the Immigration and Naturalization Act, an adjustment of status application may only be approved when a visa number is immediately available. The Visa Office of Department of State controls the number use by registering the visa demand from USCIS and US consulate posts oversea, and publishing a visa bulletin every month. The Employment-based Third Preference category, as indicated in the last Visa Bulletin [2] published by the Visa Office, may suffer a sudden cut-off date retrogress any time soon due to the largely unpredictable demand surge in the EB-3 category.

With NSC processing time systematically shorter than TSC, applicants with NSC takes significant advantage over those with TSC, because NSC could consume the visa numbers earlier even they filed their applications at the same time. When the visa numbers become unavailable, the applicants would need to wait until the beginning of the next fiscal year to have their cases approved. It?s also against the ?first come, first serve? principle that the congress had intended, because USCIS?s two service centers are not processing the cases in the order that was received.

I would like you to directly address this issue with USCIS Texas Service Center, and have the work load prioritized over EB-3 AOS applicants due to the reasons explained above. I am not asking for preferential treatment, but fairness and balanced processing between the two service centers, based on the order they are received.