Advancements and Achievements: USCIS’s Impactful Initiatives in FY 2023 2/2

Release Date: 02/09/2024

In the fiscal year 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of State collaborated to address the evolving needs of U.S. employers, enhance immigration services, and fulfill the agency's humanitarian mission. The following highlights showcase the notable accomplishments and contributions made during this period:

Strengthening Immigration for Workers and Employers:

  • Issued over 192,000 employment-based immigrant visas, surpassing pre-pandemic numbers.
  • Ensured optimal utilization of available visas for the second consecutive year.
  • Extended the maximum validity period of Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) to five years for adjustment of status applicants.
  • Clarified eligibility for various immigration services, including the International Entrepreneur Rule, EB-1 immigrant visa, and waiver of the two-year foreign residence requirement for J-1 exchange visitors.
  • Proposed a new rule to fortify worker protections and enhance the integrity of the H-2 temporary worker program.
  • Removed biometrics fees and appointment requirements for nonimmigrant status change or extension applicants.
  • Updated interpretations of the Child Status Protection Act to prevent child beneficiaries of noncitizen workers from aging out of child status.

Fulfilling Our Humanitarian Mission:

  • Interviewed over 100,000 refugee applicants, admitting and resettling over 60,000 refugees.
  • Completed more than 52,000 asylum cases, prioritizing Afghan alliance and their families.
  • Conducted a record-breaking 146,000 credible fear and reasonable fear screenings for individuals expressing fear of return.
  • Supported the Biden-Harris Administration's efforts for lawful pathways, including processes for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans (CHNV) and family reunification processes for individuals from Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
  • A key partner in the Safe Mobility Office initiative, facilitating safe and lawful pathways in partner countries in Central and South America.
  • Announced enhancements to the Central American Minors Program, expanding eligibility criteria.

Looking Ahead (FY 2024):

  • Focus on maintaining median processing times for certain EAD applications and proposing new rules to modernize the H-1B program.
  • Prioritize naturalization processing times and utilize all available employment-based visas.
  • Advocate for supplemental funding to cover projected shortfalls and hire additional personnel.
  • Build capacity for processing protection screenings at the southern border and increase efforts to address pending affirmative asylum applications.
  • Increase refugee adjudications with the goal of admitting 125,000 refugees in FY 2024.
  • Expand international footprint, enhance online filing tools, and continue Operation Enduring Welcome for Afghan allies.
  • Invest additional resources in standing up the HART Service Center.

USCIS is committed to continuous improvement, efficiency, and providing a positive customer experience as it addresses the challenges and opportunities in the immigration landscape.

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