Citizenship applications facing serious backlog

Coming to the United States is often the first step for immigrants who have a much greater goal in mind — becoming a citizen. However, wait times for citizenship applications are currently much longer than they used to be. With the process taking up to two years in some areas of the U.S., some people hoping to make Louisiana their permanent home could be in for a significant waiting game.

In the past, applications for citizenship were typically processed in about six months or so. Now, as changes from the federal government complicate the already difficult immigration process, those wait times have lengthened significantly. Over 700,000 immigrants are currently waiting for their applications to be processed.

While policy changes from the federal government are stretching application processing times, it is not the only cause. Between 2015 and 2016, the number of citizenship applications increased an astounding 27 percent. The government was initially able to keep up with the sudden surge in applications but quickly fell behind, relegating hopeful immigrants to longer and longer wait times before becoming naturalized.

Before applying to become a naturalized American citizen, immigrants in Louisiana must first obtain a green card and live in the U.S. for three or more years. As such, these individuals likely already understand just how complicated immigration law can be. With applications for citizenship currently experiencing lengthy wait times, getting things done the first time around is essential to prevent further delays, so people may want to consider seeking guidance from an experienced attorney before submitting anything.