When can immigration petitions be expedited?

It can take a lot of time for a U.S. immigration matter to be resolved. When a foreign national files a petition for a visa, green card or other immigration benefit here in the U.S., there are many steps that can be involved in the consideration of the petition. These steps can have various wait periods, processing time and delays associated with them.

Now, some individuals might have an immigration matter where time is very much of the essence. In such a situation, delays could cause all sorts of problems. So, when a foreign national has a time-sensitive immigration matter, one thing they may wonder is if there is any way to have their petition expedited.

Under U.S. immigration rules, there is an avenue to request expedited processing of a petition. U.S. immigration officials have the discretion to grant a request to expedite if certain factors are present in relation to the petition. Among the factors that can be grounds to expedite are:

  • Humanitarian grounds.
  • National interest situations.
  • Emergency situations.
  • There being a compelling U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services interest at play or there having been a USCIS mistake.
  • The potential of a party suffering severe financial loss.
  • Certain nonprofit organization situations.

When a person submits a request for expedited processing on one of these grounds, the burden for showing that this ground is in fact present lies with them. So, a person’s circumstances and what sorts of evidence they could present regarding these circumstances matter greatly when it comes to their options related to expedited processing in immigration matters.

Immigration attorneys can provide individuals who have time-sensitive immigration matters with guidance on whether requesting expedited processing would be an available option for them. They can also help such individuals with gathering evidence to support such a request.