4 Ways to Speed Up Your Immigration Case

Everyone wants to get their immigration case done as quickly as possible, but long waits of a year (or many years) can be the norm. One of the most common questions we get is “can you speed up my immigration case?” The answer usually is “it depends on what type of immigration case,” but there are some things you can do to help expedite or speed things up in certain cases.


  1. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offer a Premium Processing Service. While it was suspended for a while, premium processing is back in some cases in 2019. For $1410 above regular fees, certain employment based cases may be expedited by filling out an 1-907. But in the big picture, we are talking about certain temporary work visas and petitions that lead to green cards through sponsorship. There are no Premium Processing Services for Family or any other Immigration case. In the case of expedited processing there must be a real reason for rushing and no guarantee that USCIS will approve the request. This is for emergent use only such as family emergencies, military personnel who are being called overseas, or scheduled surgery with a long recuperation period, meaning you might not make your appointment afterwards.
  2. Do not attempt to file the paperwork yourself; normally it slows things down. Time and again we have people come to us who made an error on their paperwork causing months of waiting while they try to refile or fix the error. It is tempting to think that the best way to get something done is to do it yourself, but with immigration law this is not the case. Many times our clients have tried filing the paperwork on their own, only to find that they used a form that is outdated,  or failed to follow some easy-to-miss instruction that can cause the whole package to be rejected, and have to start all over again
  3. Hire a qualified and experienced immigration attorney. Highly skilled immigration lawyers know the rules and regulations, which change frequently. We get daily updates on the newest policies, which can have huge effects on your immigration case and your life. A regulation or procedure that worked previously may no longer be supported, or perhaps a new law has opened a path for your particular case, that the average person just wouldn’t know about. Do not go to your family friend who is a divorce attorney, or personal injury lawyer for your immigration case. You wouldn’t go to a dermatologist for open heart surgery, would you? When you hire an outstanding immigration law firm to handle your immigration case, you can be sure they will use methods to ensure that everything is as close to perfect as it can be. I’ve written more on how to choose the best immigration lawyer here.
  4. A final option in some cases is actual contact with an officer at USCIS. When an immigration case is not completed within a certain, expected period of time, you may contact USCIS to try and speed things up. Again, the best thing to do is to get a professional to handle the process.  Experienced immigration lawyers know how to get things accomplished. Thousands of times before, we have done it. We can try to resolve the reason for the delays. This can help.

I wish I could tell you there were simple steps to speed up your immigration process, but in most cases it’s hard work coupled with extensive knowledge of the subject and dedication to detail.

Speed is crucial in many immigration cases.

People want quick results.

But they also need to win.

Rushing through the forms may cause errors. So, while we share your interest in completing the case as quickly as possible, we also work carefully to avoid mistakes.

Written by: Harlan York

Immigration Attorney Harlan York is Former Chair, Immigration Section, NJ State Bar Association and Former Co-Chair, NY State Bar Association CFLS Immigration Committee. Mr. York appeared on National Television on CBS This Morning with Charlie Rose and Primer Impacto on Univision, as well as Telemundo, NBC, and PBS. He was honored as First Ever Immigration Lawyer of The Year in NJ by Best Lawyers.

Do you have a question about Immigration in General?

Call us anytime at 973.642.1111 or email us using the form below.