Immigration News + Alerts

Green Card Backlog Shows Minimal Progress in September

Published on
October 30, 2023
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According to data from the Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC), September saw minor reduction in the immigrant visa (IV) backlog, marking a 0.8% decrease from the previous month.

This gradual decrease aligns with an ongoing pattern where the backlog has been dropping incrementally but at a notably slow pace.  

The data reveals that the backlog of immigrant visas, mainly consisting of green card applications, dipped from 275,506 cases in August to 273,263 in September. Despite it being a downward trend, the change is quite small, indicating that the issue of delays continues to pose a significant challenge for immigration processes.  

Further signals of slow progress are visible in the number of completed green card applications deemed ready for interview scheduling. The NVC explains that a case reaches a “documentarily complete” status when all the necessary forms and documents have been submitted and accepted, and the application can thus proceed to the interview stage. However, the figure for such cases witnessed a slight fall of 0.9%, dwindling from 314,853 in August to 312,018 in September.  

Also, there was a small decrease in the number of individuals scheduled for green card interviews over the month. Figures fell modestly from 39,347 interviews in August to 38,755 in September.  

These latest statistics underscore the continuation of a worrying trend – progress in addressing the green card backlog remains slow. For many applicants, this implies longer waiting times and significant uncertainty in their immigration process.  

While the backlog is likely influenced by a complex set of factors, urgent efforts are needed to expedite processes and reduce delays. The social and economic cost of these backlogs is substantial, affecting businesses and families who rely on a swift and efficient immigration process.  

As we move forward, it’s important for all stakeholders, from policymakers to immigration service providers, to keep a close eye on these trends and work continuously to develop solutions that alleviate backlog and enhance the efficiency of the immigration process.

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