Today, I took a tour of the USCIS California Service Center in Laguna Niguel, CA, to see with my own eyes what happens when USCIS processes an immigration application — from start to finish, from the moment USCIS receives my clients’ application until a final decision is made.
A USCIS supervisor led the 3 hour tour, allowing me to walk through the huge facility and asking questions along the way. This was a rare and special opportunity, since this is a secured federal building (called the Chet Holifield Federal Building) that is not open to the public. The building was beautiful — very futuristic looking from the outside. (click here for pictures.)
This service center processes various immigration applications — such as employment based visas and green cards; family based green cards; work authorization; J visa residency waivers; DACA; change of status; R-1 visas; and so on.
I saw how mail is sorted once it is received from attorneys like me. I saw how the applications are processed through various stages of approval or denial. I saw where the paper files are housed during the review stage. I saw how the payment checks are processed. I saw how the approval/denial notices are mailed out. I saw how service requests (from attorneys inquiring about cases status, problems, or delay) are handled. This USCIS service center is organized and has its act together!
This tour experience confirmed to me that proper preparation of the immigration petition is critical and that it is possible to get fast and good results for immigration applications.
For example, I recently had a fiance petition approved in an incredible 3.5 WEEKS** — when it usually takes 5-6 months, based on the current USCIS published processing estimates.
**This past result does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.