Backlog in Naturalization Applications Will Take Nearly Three Years to Clear

Agency officials today say it will take almost three years for USCIS to clear the naturalization backlog due to a surge in applications last summer. It is estimated that the agency received 737,223 applications — three-and-a-half times the number of applications (207,536) received during the same period a year earlier. As of October 2007, USCIS had almost 1 million naturalization applications pending approval. The surge caused the processing time to more than double — now standing at 16 to 18 months for applications filed during the summer of 2007, compared to the six-to-seven-month timeframe for applications filed in 2006.