DOS Update: Green Card Backlog Above 400,000 in April 2022

Welcome back to Immigration Lawyer Blog! In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the current status of the immigrant visa backlog at the National Visa Center and Department of State, as of April 2022. In this video you will learn more about what you can expect over the next few months if you have a pending immigrant visa case waiting to be scheduled for an interview at a Consulate overseas.

Want to know more? Just keep on watching.


Every month when the National Visa Center releases its Immigrant Visa Backlog report, we take notice and breakdown exactly what the backlog report means for immigrant visa applicants.

In its latest release for the month of April 2022, the National Visa Center has provided information that highlights the dramatic backlogs caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, causing delays in the processing of immigrant visa applications.

Since the emergence of the Coronavirus, U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide have struggled to accommodate the growing demand for visa interviews with a very limited number of personnel and resources. Posts have also faced severe limitations including the inability to process a large number of cases due to local country conditions and lockdowns. The reality is that things have not gotten back to normal in many countries, and unfortunately this is causing applicants more headaches.

In an effort to be as transparent as possible, the National Visa Center has provided the total number of immigrant visa applicants still waiting for interview appointments.

These numbers are extremely concerning. Of 453,797 immigrant visa cases that were documentarily complete and ready to be scheduled for interviews as of March 31st, only 32,439 were actually scheduled for interviews in the month of April, leaving a backlog of 421,358 immigrant visa applicants still waiting for an interview.

Number of IV applicants whose cases are documentarily complete at NVC and ready for interview as of March 31 453,797
Number of documentarily complete IV applicants scheduled for April 2022 interview appointments 32,439
Number of eligible IV applicants still pending the scheduling of an interview after April 2022 appointment scheduling was completed 421,358

Sadly, this means that the State Department has not increased the volume of monthly interviews that can be scheduled at posts overseas, leaving the issue of the immigrant visa backlog unresolved.

Unfortunately, the future ahead does not look very promising. When looking at the March and April backlog reports, we see that the immigrant visa backlog decreased by only 3.5%.

While people continue to expedite their cases at the NVC level, with many being approved successfully by the NVC, we are still seeing delays in visa interview scheduling of these applicants at Embassies and Consular posts worldwide.

We have seen this phenomenon occur firsthand with one of our clients filing an immigrant visa for his spouse at the U.S. Embassy in Lagos, Nigeria. Despite having an approved expedite from the NVC, the Embassy twice refused to provide an interview appointment for his spouse, despite there being an adequate basis to provide an emergency interview. It was not until our third emergency interview request that the Embassy finally relented and scheduled our client’s interview.

This is just one of many cases that have caused great frustration for our clients who simply wish to be reunited in the United States. Many do not have the luxury of being this persistent, while others simply cannot afford legal representation.

With no improvement on the horizon, applicants should remain focused and be proactive to ensure that they are taking advantage of all opportunities that may be available to them. You may wish to review the expedite criteria carefully and see if you qualify for expedited processing. There are also a multitude of resources including groups on social media where people just like you discuss their experiences.

As it stands, we expect this backlog to remain in place for at least another year. Applicants should remain informed on the current status of the backlogs, and on the operational status of their specific U.S. Embassy or Consulate by reviewing their webpage on a regular basis.

Questions? If you believe you qualify for expedited processing of your immigrant visa, we invite you to contact our office for a consultation to discuss your options for moving your case forward. If you would like to schedule a consultation, please text 619-483-4549 or call 619-819-9204.

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