April 03, 2008

USCIS and FBI Set Milestones to Clear up Namecheck Backlog

USCIS announced on April 2, 2008, that they have set milestones for the namecheck backlog and by next summer hope to have all cleared and completed with a policy that the vast majority of all namechecks be completed within a 30 day period. Below is the text of the announcement:

USCIS AND FBI RELEASE JOINT PLAN TO ELIMINATE BACKLOG OF FBI NAME CHECKS

Partnership Establishes Series of Milestones To Complete Checks

WASHINGTON – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) today announced a joint plan to eliminate the backlog of name checks pending with the FBI.

USCIS and the FBI established a series of milestones prioritizing work based on the age of the pending name check. The FBI has already eliminated all name check cases pending more than four years. “This plan of action is the product of a strong partnership between USCIS and the FBI to eliminate the backlogs and to strengthen national security,” said USCIS Director Emilio Gonzalez.

By increasing staff, expanding resources, and applying new business processes, the goal is to complete 98 percent of all name checks within 30 days. USCIS and the FBI intend to resolve the remaining two percent, which represent the most difficult name checks and require additional time to complete, within 90 days or less. The goal is to achieve and sustain these processing times by June 2009.

The joint plan will focus on resolving the oldest pending FBI name checks first. USCIS has also requested that the FBI prioritize resolution of approximately 29,800 pending name checks from naturalization applicants submitted to the FBI before May 2006 where the naturalization applicant was already interviewed.

The target milestones for processing name checks are:

Completion Goal and Category

May 2008-Process all name checks pending more than three years
July 2008-Process all name checks pending more than two years
Nov. 2008-Process all name checks pending more than one year
Feb. 2009-Process all name checks pending more than 180 days
June 2009-Process 98 percent of all name checks within 30 days and process the
remaining two percent within 90 days.

By Michelle Richart