U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it is experiencing delays in issuing receipt notices for some applications and petitions filed at USCIS lockboxes that are located in Chicago, Illinois, Phoenix, Arizona, and Lewisville, Texas. This announcement does not come as a surprise to most filers, since delays have been experienced for some time and have become even longer since October 2020, when thousands of Form I-485 Adjustment of Status applications were filed.
Adjustments due to COVID-19 restrictions at USCIS are adding to the problems. Not only can it take more than two months for receipts to be issued, but filing fee checks (the cashing of which became a way to determine whether an application or petition was received) are not timely cashed. These delays also are seen with other cases filed at lockbox addresses, such as Form I-765 Applications for Employment Authorization and Form I-131 Applications for Travel Documents. The delays have been particularly long for students applying for EADs who, like others, are experiencing gaps in employment authorization.
USCIS confirmed that, despite any delay, once the receipt is issued, it will reflect that actual date of receipt. USCIS also maintains the delays will not result in payments going beyond their validity dates.
USCIS asks stakeholders to be patient and says it is working extra hours and redistributing workloads to deal with the backlogs.
In order to speed up the receipt-acknowledgment process, USCIS suggests that applicants complete and attach Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance to their filings at lockboxes to request a text message or email upon receipt.
If you have questions about receipting delays, please reach out to your Jackson Lewis attorney.