Immigration entering 2022 can be described in one word “Slow”. Anyone starting an immigration process or currently in an immigration process needs to mentally prepare for delays. Many consulates are currently not processing new visitor visas, or the wait time is over 999 days due to their current backlog of cases.
Persons with approved petitions waiting for a consular interview abroad should know the wait has jumped for many countries from 1-2months to 10-12 months and even more.
Persons whose cases have not yet been approved and are in the USA also must have patience as most cases are taking longer than usual. Just getting fingerprinted is backlogged for months. The current wait time is closer to 8-10 months for a fingerprint/biometrics appointment something that was closer to 2 months before the pandemic began.
Employment visas things are also slowing down. H-2b visas are already caped for the first half of 2022. If your employment start date is before April 1, 2022, your application will be rejected because they are full.
These delays as well as the other will cause cases to take longer without much communication. It is especially important to use and cooperate with a qualified attorney. An error, or weak submission can cause years of delay if a case must be re-filed or if the wrong case was filed.
Although patience will be needed the good news is that 2022 brings new hope. Congress is still considering the proposed immigration plan. The TPS program has expanded including 2 more countries (Burma and Venezuela) and Haitians have had their TPS expanded to include new people due to the recent turmoil. Some immigrants are also getting deferred enforced departure allowing them to stay in the country longer. The immigration court has opened and is once again allowing prosecutorial discretion to close many cases that have been pending. There is light at the end of the tunnel but it’s just going to be a slow ride there.
Abraham Cepeda, Attorney at Law
Cultura Law LLC.