USCIS Achieves Record-Breaking Milestone: Over 192,000 Employment-Based Immigrant Visas Issued in FY 2023

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has marked a historic achievement in the fiscal year 2023, surpassing the 192,000 mark for employment-based immigrant visas. The end-of-year data reveals USCIS’s remarkable performance, receiving a record 10.9 million filings and completing over 10 million pending cases, leading to a significant 15% reduction in overall backlogs.

USCIS administered the Oath of Allegiance to more than 878,500 new U.S. citizens, including 12,000 military members, eliminating the backlog of naturalization applications. The agency’s focus on efficiency is evident in the median processing time for naturalization applicants, which decreased from 10.5 months to 6.1 months, achieving a longstanding goal and reducing waiting times for U.S. citizenship seekers.

In the realm of immigration for workers and employers, FY 2023 witnessed USCIS and the Department of State issuing a record-breaking number of employment-based immigrant visas, exceeding pre-pandemic levels. USCIS’s commitment to meeting U.S. employers’ needs was further demonstrated by extending the maximum validity period of Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) to five years to adjust the status of applicants.

The agency clarified eligibility for various immigration services, proposed new rules to enhance worker protections in the H-2 temporary worker program, and implemented technology solutions to improve customer experience. USCIS’s new self-service tool for online rescheduling of biometrics appointments and enterprise change of address capabilities significantly streamlined processes, with the latter expected to reduce USCIS Contact Center phone inquiries by up to 31%.

Looking ahead to FY 2024, USCIS is poised to build on its progress, addressing processing delays, proposing rules to modernize the H-1B program, and maintaining naturalization processing times. USCIS also announced a new fee schedule to recover operating costs and plans to introduce online filing tools, including organizational accounts and electronic intake channels for enhanced customer convenience. These initiatives reinforce USCIS’s commitment to efficiency, integrity, and a positive immigration experience for applicants.

Source: MSN