U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reported today that it had more than 8.03 million pending filings at the end of fiscal year 2021.
Despite the backlog, USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou praised the agency’s work, adding that from responding to the pandemic to addressing processing delays and implementing changes in operations, this was a year of growth and renewed vision.
The most notable delays occurred in applications for entry into the United States for immediate family members of legal residents or U.S. citizens, and in work permit applications.
As of September 30, the end of the fiscal 2021 period, USCIS had approved 6.14 million applications, denied 808,335, and had 8.03 million pending.
In that period, USCIS approved 182,217 work authorization applications, denied 1.8 million, and had 1.48 million employment authorization applications pending.
This component of the numbers directly affects immigrants who are in the country legally with work permits that must be renewed periodically.
In 2021, USCIS approved 673,956 applications for permission to enter the United States for immediate relatives and rejected 81,169 of those requests, concluding the fiscal period with 1.51 million pending applications in this category.