Before thinking about an expedite request, first learn normal processing times at the particular immigration office or agency. USCIS, the National Visa Center, and consulates abroad have changing processing times. Do an online search first to learn current processing times where your filing is located.
Jumping the Line
Expedite requests are generally viewed negatively by immigration officers at nearly every agency because the large majority of those who request expedites don’t deserve one. A common reason for requesting expedite is that things are taking too long. Think of an expedite request as a request to jump the line and go in front of others standing in line. People don’t like it, including the government officials who must listen to the complaint / request.
Compelling reason to expedite must be based on factors unique to your situation and not common to others. The problem must rise to such a level that there will likely be some disaster if you wait your turn.
For example, a dire medical need can be justified if there is no facility in the other country to deal with the problem and a person may end up with a substantial disability if not allowed to expedite. Consider a pregnancy: This is not normally a basis for expedite because children are born every day all over the world. But, a documented high risk pregnancy is grounds for an expedite if the home country is ill-equipped to handle the risk. You need evidence to back up the claim.
Call 1.800.375.5283 and see if you can get a USCIS officer to review your documents. The officer may offer a fax number or email address where you can submit documentation in support of your request. Other agencies will have their own means of contact in order to file a request to expedite.
If contacting the agency directly does not get results, contact your congressional representative by going online and searching for 2 US senators and 1 member of the House of Representatives in your area. Choose only one you like, not all of them. An expedite request from more than one representative causes delays and does not help. Files are flagged and moved around within the agency for review, thereby slowing down case processing when you reach out in too many different directions at once.
Your representative will have an online form for you to fill out and directions for how to engage with them. Congressional aides are not available to force a government agency to do anything. However, a congressional aide can prompt the correct government agency to check on your case and see whether it is being considered. They report back results.
Our office is available to assist our own clients with true emergencies as needed. Please contact your case manager to report your situation.
We all have desires for firm, quick actions and results. Make sure you have a valid request for an expedite and help avoid unwarranted requests. Government employees often look at a request to expedite and return it to the end of the line if they believe the request was clearly not warranted. So, we must be careful in making such requests. Even so, there are those cases that warrant an expedite when there are true emergencies and a need to avoid catastrophe. In that case, take action.
Our Immigration Law Practice
When you hire Allan S. Lolly, P.C., you hire a team of experienced professionals with decades of knowledge who can help solve problems the right way. We take our work seriously. We want you to succeed, whether you are pursuing a green card, marriage visa, fiancé visa, bar waiver, victim rights, or other family or employment benefits.
We’ve successfully obtained well over 15,000 visas and green cards for family members from over 190 countries. We can help you.