U.S. Agency Is Swamped by Requests for Visas

Via The Ledger
By JULIA PRESTON


“Citizenship and Immigration Services, the federal agency, was still receiving applications for employment visas yesterday, the last day of a special period it announced on July 17 for immigrants with professional skills to file petitions for permanent residence visas, known as green cards. As a result, the total tally of applications received in the last six weeks was not available.

The agency admitted it was swamped by the applications it had already received, which was more than double the annual limit of 140,000 employment visas.

According to official figures, in the three months before July the agency received an average of 54,700 applications a month for all green cards, including employment visas and those based on family ties. Applications were already surging then as foreigners sought to file papers before higher processing fees took effect on July 30.

“That is a fantastically high number,” said Carl Shusterman, an immigration lawyer in Los Angeles. Mr. Shusterman said he thought 300,000 was the highest number of employment applications the immigration agency had received in the 31 years he had practiced immigration law.”

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