Backlog in Citizenship Applications Will Take Nearly 3 Years to Complete

Those who thought the name check problem is a crisis, should look at the Citizenship disaster. It will take almost three years for United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to clear the naturalization backlog due to a volume in applications last summer, USCIS officials say.

According to previously unpublished figures that USCIS has given the Migration Policy Institite, during May, June, and July 2007, the agency received 737,223 applications — three-and-a-half times the number of applications (207,536) received during the same period a year earlier. As of October 2007, USCIS had almost 1 million naturalization applications pending approval.

he surge caused the processing time to more than double — now standing at 16 to 18 months for applications filed during the summer of 2007, compared to the six-to-seven-month timeframe for applications filed in 2006.

The increase coincided with the agency's January 2007 announcement of a rise in the fee for adult naturalization (N-400) applications from $330 to $595 beginning July 30, 2007.

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