There have been multiple reports of long delays in the adjudication of Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, processed by the National Benefits Center (NBC). Processing times for the NBC as of September 2018 indicate that I-765 applications based on pending I-485 adjustment of status applications range from 4.5 to 6.5 months. All other I-765 applications for employment authorization range in processing time from 5 to 7 months. Similarly, current processing times for I-131 applications at the NBC range from 4.5 to 6.5 months.
It appears that I-765 and I-131 ancillary applications filed concurrently with an I-485 adjustment of status application, particularly those filed with the NBC based on the “Dates for Filing” chart contained in the monthly Visa Bulletin, are undergoing a “second review” to determine underlying eligibility for adjustment of status. This review must be completed before employment authorization or advance parole may be granted. These reviews do not currently have a timeframe for completion, and in some cases, appear to be slowing down the overall processing time for I-765 and I-131 applications pending with the NBC.
Members are reminded to carefully review all applications and supporting evidence before filing with USCIS. The USCIS website now provides a “Checklist of Required Initial Evidence” with most forms. Failure to provide the required initial evidence will likely result in USCIS issuing a Request for Evidence (RFE), causing further processing delays, or denial, of the application without issuance of an RFE.
Please note that I-765 and I-131 applications are eligible for expedited processing if they meet at least one of USCIS’s expedite criteria. Members will need to provide additional information/documentation regarding the basis for the expedite request. The NBC has indicated that while expedited processing is available for these applications, “a single letter from the applicant, without additional supporting documentation, does not generally meet the criteria for expedited processing.”
Source: AILA Doc. No. 18100503.