USCIS Revises Name Check Policy

February 7th, 2008

USCIS has revised its requirement that the FBI name check clearance be obtained before any immigration benefits applications can be approved, regardless of the processing times for such clearance.  According to Michael Aytes, Associate Director, Domestic Operations, USCIS, dated February 4, 2008, “Where the application is otherwise approvable and the FBI name check request has been pending for more than 180 days, the adjudicator shall approve the 1-485,1-601,1-687, or 1-698 and proceed with card issuance. The FBI has committed to providing FBI name check results within this timeframe.” However, the FBI fingerprint check, IBIS check and FBI name check must still be completed in order for Form N-400 (naturalization) to be approved.

USCIS Confirms Speeding Up of Background Checks

December 3rd, 2007

According to the American Immigration Lawyers Association, positive changes may soon bring about speedier security clearance checks.  DHS Secretary Chertoff has indicated that USCIS and the FBI are revamping the name check process in the hope that most of the backlog is cleared within six months.

On November 30, 2007, Bill Wright, spokesman, USCIS Office of Communications, wrote:

Immigration Daily’s 1/30/07 comment, “FBI Delays to End,” is not telling the entire story. USCIS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are working together to process name checks as quickly as possible without compromising security or public safety. To this end, we have examined the existing name check system and acted to address the problem through two strategies:

First, USCIS and the FBI conducted a joint risk assessment which resulted in process improvements that permit us to focus on cases of concern.

Second, USCIS and FBI have allocated additional resources to the process. Over the next year, USCIS is planning to commit a total of $15.5 million to address the backlog of FBI name checks.

Please note, however, USCIS continues to require FBI name checks for the same categories of applications and no case will be approved without a cleared name check. We will continue to work with the FBI to reduce waiting times; but, not at the expense of national security and public safety.”

DOS Issues Visa Bulletin for October 2007

September 12th, 2007

The US Department of State has issued its October 2007 Visa Bulletin.  The good news is that visa numbers are now current for all of EB-1 and for the EB-2 worldwide category.