USCIS gives preference to the immigrant petitions that the U.S. citizens file for their spouses, parents and children, who are their immediate relatives. USCIS processes their petitions faster to preserve family unity. The agency generally processes Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, filed by US citizens, within six months but now it is taking more than 13 months to do so. It is well known that the USCIS is experiencing delays and that the agency is transferring some casework to the service centers from the National Benefits Center, in order to clear the backlogs. USCIS now aims at addressing delays in the processing of these immigrant petitions.
USCIS has been receiving communications from the public regarding the extended processing times for these immigrant petitions. Currently, the USCIS is working on the petitions filed as of February 2013. This shows that the USCIS is trying to adjudicate the petitions faster and is a significant step forward as the agency was earlier adjudicating cases filed in October 2012. USCIS is looking forward to clear the backlogs by May 2014 and return to the average processing time of five months.
Stand-alone I-130 petitions filed by U.S. citizens are being transferred to the Texas, California and the Nebraska Service Centers from the National Benefits Center. USCIS says that this shift will not further delay the processing of cases. Similarly, receipt numbers will not change and the applicants can use their original receipt numbers to track their cases. USCIS believes that this shift will help the agency to decide on the cases in a timely manner. This applies only to the immigrant petitions filed by U.S. citizens for their immediate relatives.
If you are a US citizen and if you have filed the immigrant petition, Form I-130 for your child, husband or wife or your parents, and if your petition has been transferred, USCIS will send you a notice that includes the date on which your case has been transferred and the name of the service center to which it has been transferred. This will help you to track your case. If your case has been transferred to the California Service Center from the National Benefits Center, you need to use your original receipt number to check the status of your case but your need to check the processing time for the California Service Center.