August 28, 2006

U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services has announced that it has changed the manner it which it provides processing time reports.  Processing Time Reports are monthly reports indicating the filing dates that USCIS is currently working on at its respective locations.  For example, the August 2006 Processing Time Report for the National Benefits Center indicates that as of the date of the report, that office was processing I-131 applications filed on May 11, 2006.  In the past the Processing Time Report reflected the actual filing date of petitions being worked.  The change announced by USCIS is that the Processing Time Report will now reflect the longer of the actual filing date of petitions being worked or the USCIS processing goal for that type of petition.  In other words, if the USCIS goal for I-131 applications is 90 days but the actual processing time is 60 days, the Processing Time Report will now show 90 days rather than 60 days.  The given reasoning behind this change goes something like this:  1) if USCIS bests its own goal in a particular category it is likely to adjust its resources to help meet the goals of other categories; 2) as a result, customer expectation is best aligned with USCIS processing goals which are likely to be more consistent than actual processing times due to resource adjustment.