In an effort to tackle an increasing backlog in citizenship applications, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently began a dramatic hiring increase of USCIS personnel. Data indicate that these measures have already significantly alleviated the backlog of citizenship applications that have overwhelmed the agency. In 2007, it was estimated that the USCIS, which is a part of the Department of Homeland Security, took an average of 18 months to process applications. Current processing times, however, are much lower with an average time of nine to 10 months. Within the past 2 years, the USCIS hired over 2,000 new employees, and designated over half to evaluate and process citizenship applications. The USCIS completed an estimated 1.1 million citizenship applications in 2008, over 400,000 more applications than last year. While this marks a considerable improvement, immigration experts remark that the USCIS still has many improvements to make such as continuing to reduce the amount of time citizenship applications remain pending. Reportedly, over 100,000 applications have been pending for over two years.

If you have questions about an immigration matter, call the Law Office of Robert F. Mirque, Jr. at 616-233-9300.


USCIS Revises Direct Mail Program for the Application for Naturalization

The USCIS announced recently that it is revising the Direct Mail Program for the Application for Naturalization (Form N-400). The revision is effective January 22, 2009. The notice advises the public to file non-military N-400’s with the appropriate Lockbox and provides a 30-day transition period after the effective date for the USCIS service centers to forward N-400 applications to the appropriate Lockbox location.

Therefore, effective January 22, 2009, for anyone residing in Michigan, you should mail your N-400 application to:

USCIS Lockbox Facility
US Citizenship and Immigration Services
PO Box 21251
Phoenix, AZ  85036

If you are mailing your N-400 by courier or express mail:

USCIS, Attn: N-400
1820 Skyharbor Circle S.  Floor 1
Phoenix, AZ  85036

Military applicants should continue to file their N-400 cases with the Nebraska Service Center. The Nebraska Service Center will also accept and process N-400’s filed by spouses of military members.

If you have questions about applying for naturalization or any question regarding immigration, call me at 616-233-9300 or email me at

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