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USCIS Updates Projected Naturalization Processing Times
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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it continues to make steady progress in reducing the significant number of naturalization applications it received last year. USCIS now anticipates naturalization application processing will average 10-12 months nationally by the end of September 2008 – a substantial improvement from its estimated average processing time of 16-18 months first announced last year.

“USCIS is committed to providing customers with clear expectations and regular updates about the agency’s progress to reduce its backlog,” Acting USCIS Director Jonathan Scharfen said. “We are working steadily toward achieving our goal of processing all naturalization applications within five months by this time next year.”

During Fiscal Year 2007, USCIS received 1.4 million naturalization applications, nearly double the normal annual volume. In July alone, USCIS received 460,000 applications for naturalization prior to the implementation of its July 30, 2007 fee increase. As a result, average processing times significantly increased.

In response to the surge in applications, USCIS implemented a work plan to reduce the backlog, including implementing an aggressive hiring plan and expanded work hours. As a result of this effort, USCIS anticipates completing more than one million naturalization applications by the end of this fiscal year, including most of the applications received during the summer of 2007.

Last year’s application surge did not impact USCIS offices evenly across the country. Although most offices have already processed cases received during the 2007 filing surge, a handful of offices will have a small percentage of their 2007 cases pending at the end of Fiscal Year 2008. That will result in processing times longer than the 10-12 month national average. USCIS will continue to shift resources to ensure that all local offices achieve the goal of five month processing times.

USCIS field office projections are listed below. These projections indicate the average time it will take to complete a naturalization case as of the end of September 2008.

Estimate of Local Office Naturalization Processing Times by September 2008

Office Months   Office Months
Agana, Guam 5.0   Memphis, Tenn 8.4
Albany, N.Y 5.6   Miami, Fla 12.0
Albuquerque, N.M 8.4   Milwaukee, Wis 6.6
Anchorage, Alaska 5.0   Mount Laurel, N.J 5.0
Atlanta, Ga 6.7   New Orleans, La 14.5
Baltimore, Md 7.0   New York, N.Y 10.0
Boise, Idaho 10.5   Newark, N.J 7.4
Boston, Mass 8.8   Norfolk, Va 7.2
Buffalo, N.Y 7.0   Oklahoma City, Okla 8.6
Charleston, S.C 14.1   Omaha, Neb 5.0
Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands 7.2   Orlando, Fla 9.5
Charlotte, N.C 14.9   Philadelphia, Pa 10.0
Chicago, Ill 5.1   Phoenix, Ariz 8.6
Cincinnati, Ohio 7.0   Pittsburgh, Pa 6.0
Cleveland, Ohio 6.8   Portland, Maine 5.5
Columbus, Ohio 5.7   Portland, Ore 5.4
Dallas, Texas 11.0   Providence, R.I 6.7
Denver, Colo 5.2   Reno, Nev 5.0
Des Moines, Iowa 5.7   Sacramento, Calif 5.0
Detroit, Mich 5.0   Salt Lake City, Utah 5.0
El Paso, Texas 7.9   San Antonio, Texas 5.0
Fort Smith, Ark 7.6   San Diego, Calif 5.0
Fresno, Calif 6.7   San Francisco, Calif 5.5
Harlingen, Texas 5.0   San Jose, Calif 5.0
Hartford, Conn 14.3   San Juan, Puerto Rico 10.4
Helena, Mont 5.0   Seattle, Wash 9.0
Honolulu, Hawaii 5.0   Spokane, Wash 5.0
Houston, Texas 5.1   St Albans, Vt 9.5
Indianapolis, Ind 5.0   St Louis, Mo 10.3
Jacksonville, Fla 7.4   St Paul, Minn 5.5
Kansas City, Mo 7.0   Tampa, Fla 8.6
Las Vegas, Nev 9.0   Tucson, Ariz 12.0
Los Angeles, Calif 12.5   Washington, D.C 12.7
Louisville, Ky 7.1   West Palm Beach, Fla 5.0
Manchester, N.H 5.3   Yakima, Wash 5.0

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