Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Special Conditions Merit Expedited Immigration Background Checks

Kansas City infoZine News - Special Conditions Merit Expedited Immigration Background Checks - USA: "For immigrants to the United States who are mere steps from completion of their residency or citizenship applications, the wait has become agony.

Background checks form the bottleneck that slows this process to an average of eight months for all applicants. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) requires an FBI fingerprint check, FBI name check, and an IBIS name check on applicants for residency. IBIS is a database that allows USCIS to check names against approximately 20 different federal agencies' records. The FBI receives more than 60,000 name check requests each week, and there is still a backload of unprocessed requests numbering more than 2 million.

Because federal law requires that applicants receive notification of the decision on a residency application within 120 days of the interview, some applicants have successfully filed suit when the process has stretched beyond this time limit due to background checks. In fact, the FBI now considers a 'lawsuit pending in Federal Court' as grounds for expediting stalled background checks. The number of such lawsuits grew in 2005, with immigrants citing long waits on their applications for citizenship or residency.

USCIS officials are now refusing to schedule citizenship interviews and tests unless an applicant's background checks are "

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