News & Insights

Things I Learned At The AILA Conference

Every year the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) hold a national conference where seasoned Attorneys and government officials impart their knowledge and experience to a room full of Immigration Attorneys.

I was fortunate enough to attend the conference last week in my all-time favorite city of New York.  It was a 4-day event and over the course of the conference there were certain things that I learned which are important for everyone to know about.  In no particular order these are as follows:

  • USCIS has a staggering 9 million cases currently pending.

  • USCIS plans to hire another 4,000 employees by the end of the year.

  • Last year over 60,000 employment-based visas went to waste.

  • This year USCIS claims it will issue all 280,000 employment visas in FY 2022.

  • USCIS Claims to have issued twice as many employment-based visas in FY2022 compared to FY2021.

  • USCIS receives over a million requests for Employment Authorization every year.

  • The National Visa Center (NVC) has approximately half a million cases.

  • The Department of State (DOS) has issued more visas in the first half of FY2022 compared to FY2021.

  • The number of cases being filed with the Department of Labor (DOL) has increased, yet their resources to adjudicate cases has fallen. DOL therefore claims they are actually doing more, with less. The number of cases received by DOL in FY2022 compared to FY2021 is as follows:

H-2B– 48% increase

H-1B– 25% increase

H-1A- 18% increase

PERM– 24% increase

Prevailing wages– 13% increase

  • DOL has 0% vacancy. However, they need more money and more resources in order to bring down processing times.

While it is clear that the various agencies want to improve processing times, each agency is struggling due to a lack of resources in terms of money and available trained staff.  The pandemic and the hiring freeze placed on USCIS by the Trump administration caused massive backlogs, many of which will take years to overcome.

If more information regarding the above please contact PLG Partner Chris Prescott at cprescott@patellegal.com.

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