INS Halts Processing of Adjustment of Status Cases The INS
suspended processing of all applications for adjustment of status cases
(the final stage in applying for permanent residence) filed with INS
Service Centers and District Offices on or after April 1, 1998.
According to INS, the processing suspension will allow them to complete
required name checks on all adjustment applicants. A computer
reprogramming oversight had missed cases filed between April and July,
1998. While the software problem appears to be resolved, other computer
problems (notably a Y2K compliance review) suggest that it is unlikely
that any adjustment applications filed on or after April 1, 1998 will be
completed prior to February, 1999.
Naturalization Fee Increased
On January 15, 1999, the fee for
naturalization (citizenship) applications increased to $225. Previously,
the fee was $95.
Why is my labor certification case taking so long?
As most of
our readers know, the most common way for employers to obtain a
permanent visa ("green card") for a prospective employee is to apply for
labor certification and then file a petition for the visa itself. An
application for labor certification is filed with the Department of
Labor, and is used to prove that the employer’s hiring needs cannot be
met by U.S. workers. Unfortunately, the labor certification process has
become slower than ever. To get an idea of how long it is now taking to
obtain labor certification, look at the information below:
Average Labor Certification Processing Times Around the
Region I (Boston): 12-18 months Region II (New York):
36-48 months Region III (Philadelphia): 15-24 months Region IV
(Atlanta): 15-27 months Region V (Chicago): 22-30 months Region
VI (Dallas): 14-28 months Region VII (Kansas City): 12-20 months
Region VIII (Denver): 33-36 months Region IX (San Francisco):
40-50 months Region X (Seattle): Not available. *Data includes
local and regional processing times.
Many employers are now
exploring alternatives to the labor certification process. Such
alternatives include Reduction in Recruitment and avoiding labor
certification altogether for certain classes of individuals.
This Immigration Bulletin is not intended as a
substitute for professional legal advice.