Since March 29, 2022, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) introduced new regulations to decrease the substantial backlog involved in visa processing. As part of the effort to cut down processing times, the federal agency is actively implementing several policy changes.
In this article, you will find an overview of USCIS’ new provisions to reduce processing time for the E-2 visa and several other categories.
USCIS Cycle Time Goals – Understanding the New System
One of the new mechanisms introduced by USCIS to guide the reduction of the current backlog is a system based on “internal cycle time goals.” This unique system will also help to determine the required timeframe required to process immigration benefits.
Another positive factor implemented with the new regulations includes strategic efforts to increase the agency’s capacity to process visa applications, which includes the addition of last-generation technology tools and staffing expansion.
Both novelties are based on USCIS’s existing system to monitor the number of pending applications in the agency’s workload, which is referred to as “cycle times.” In essence, a cycle time measures how long the pending cases for a particular category are waiting for processing.
USCIS publicly posts the average processing times required for different visa categories, but most applicants were clueless about “cycle times” due to their internal use in the agency. With the announcement, applicants may witness a significant improvement in processing times, reduced backlogs, and a superior user experience.
The federal agency expects to attain these goals by the end of the fiscal year 2023, but some changes are already in their full course of implementation.
USCIS Reduced The Processing Time for E2 Visa and Other Visa Categories
The new policies announced by USCIS are not the end of the good news for visa applicants in 2023. The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has introduced a final rule in the Federal Register called “Implementation of the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act.”
The purpose of the new rule is to expand premium processing services to more visa petitions. In the past, premium processing was restricted to a limited number of visa categories. One of the categories included in the expansion is the E-2 nonimmigrant classification.
Also referred to as the “Treaty Investor Visa,” the E-2 classification offers foreign investors an opportunity to enter the United States upon investing a “substantial amount of capital” in a US bona fide enterprise.
DHS plans a gradual expansion of premium processing services, allowing the revenue obtained with the current premium processing petitions to fund the development and implementation of the expansion.
Currently, the estimated processing period for non-premium processing I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker) cases is over two months. As expected, E-2 applicants seeking to shorten the processing timeframe must pay for the benefits.
Foreign investors filing form I-129 requesting premium processing for the E-2 classification must pay a $2,500 fee.
Do You Want to Apply for Premium Processing on an E-2 Visa Petition? – Immediately Seek Expert Legal Guidance
An experienced legal advisor in US immigration law, Attorney Romy B. Jurado willingly wants to help you navigate USCIS processing and attain the American Dream. Contact us today by calling (305) 921-0976 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a consultation.