To reduce the agency’s pending caseload, USCIS established new internal cycle time goals in March 2022. These goals are internal metrics that guide the backlog reduction efforts of the USCIS workforce and affect how long it takes the agency to process cases. As cycle times improve, processing times will follow, and applicants and petitioners will receive decisions on their cases more quickly. USCIS will increase capacity, improve technology, and expand staffing to achieve these new goals by the end of FY 2023.

Currently, the agency’s publicly posted processing times show the amount of time it took USCIS to complete 80% of adjudicated cases over the past six months. Internally, USCIS monitors the number of pending cases in the agency’s workload through cycle times. A cycle time measures how many months’ worth of pending cases for a particular form are awaiting a decision. Cycle times are what the operational divisions of USCIS use to gauge how much progress the agency is making on reducing our backlog and overall case processing times.


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