Skip to content
Skip to content
1880 Office Club Pointe, Ste. 235 | Colorado Springs CO 80920 | 630-262-1435

Immigration Visa Processing Delays

How to deal with processing delay with immigration visas or “green cards”.

Currently, there is a processing delay with immigration visas or as commonly called green cards.AILA Practice Advisory flyer informing the reader about Green Card processing times and how the COVID-19 Pandemic is affecting U.S. Consulates and Embassies.

Most U.S. embassies and consulates are not operating at full capacity. Due to limited appointment availability, a significant backlog was created for immigrant (IV) and nonimmigrant visa (NIV) applicants waiting a visa interview. IVs are for those seeking to come to the United States permanently as a legal permanent resident or green card holder, while NIVs are for those individuals seeking to come to the United States temporarily. The Department of State (DOS) prioritizes serving U.S. citizens abroad, which means that foreign national visa applicants are not a top priority. There were more than 500,000 IV applications in DOS’s backlog as of May 2021.

Because of COVID restrictions of social distancing less applications were being processed daily. As restrictions lighten, routine visa services should resume.

U.S. embassies and consulates are using a tiered approach to triage immigrant visa applications based on the category of immigrant visas as they resume and expand processing. Scheduling of appointments are prioritized as follows:

TIER 1: Immediate relative intercountry adoption visas, age-out cases (cases where the applicant will soon no longer qualify due to their age), and certain special immigrant visas (SQ and SI for Afghan and Iraqi nationals working with the U.S. government)

TIER 2: Immediate relative visas; fiancé(e) visas; and returning resident visas

TIER 3: Family preference immigrant visas and SE Special Immigrant Visas for certain employees of the U.S. government abroad

TIER 4: All other immigrant visas, including employment preference and diversity visas.

Download the full brief here.  If you have questions about how our office can assist you with visa processing call Jacki and her team at 630-262-1435.