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GAO, August 2021; released Sept. 17, 2021
"U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services processes millions of applications and petitions from noncitizens who want to temporarily stay or live in the country, obtain work authorization, or become U.S. citizens. We looked at USCIS's efforts to reduce its pending caseload, which has increased by 85% in recent years. Policy changes, longer forms, staffing issues, and delays from COVID-19 contributed to longer processing times. Although USCIS has several plans to address the backlog, it hasn't implemented them and hasn't identified necessary resources. We recommended that USCIS identify necessary resources to address its pending caseload."