USCIS Swore in More than 1 Million New Citizens in FY08
Taking stock of its accomplishments for Fiscal Year 2008, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services bureau (USCIS) said it had overseen more than one million new citizens taking the Oath of Allegiance during the period. Other achievements USCIS cites for the year, include the following:
- Completed more than 1.17 million naturalization applications, up more than 50 percent from FY07;
- Reduced naturalization application processing times to 9-10 months, down from the 16-18 months projected after the surge of applications in late FY07;
- Hired 1,600 new adjudications officers during FY08. Significantly revised and restructured the existing training curriculum and developed the BASIC training program at the USCIS Training Academy, preparing new officers to be "job-ready" upon completion of training;
- Worked with the FBI to effectively eliminate all name checks pending more than two years and reduced the cases waiting for a name check final result from almost 350,000 in late FY07 to less than 37,000;
- Interviewed more than 100,000 refugee applicants and completed more than 47,000 asylum applications; and
- Increased participation in E-Verify, the nation's preeminent employment eligibility verification system, by 260 percent over last year, resulting in the verification of more than 10 percent of the nation's new hires.
During FY09, the bureau's goal is to achieve a 20 percent reduction in processing times for the majority of key petitions and applications, in spite of having to work through an unexpected surge of applications received during FY07, it said.