There were 421,136 pending interviews in May compared to 421,358 in April, a reduction in the backlog of only 222 cases. Given that the U.S. Department of State has yet to significantly increase the number of monthly interviews following widespread closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the backlog is decreasing in minute increments: this month’s decrease was a minuscule 0.05%.
In a worrying turn of events, the total number of scheduled green card interviews decreased from April to May by more than 12%, from 32,439 in April to 28,447 in May. This marks quite a setback from the 18% increase from February to March, and even from the meager 0.4% increase seen in April. Without aggressive changes to existing procedures and a drastic increase in scheduled interviews, Boundless predicts the backlog will be a challenge indefinitely.
The National Visa Center (NVC) — a State Department facility that processes visa applications — publishes a monthly report to update the public on changes to the immigrant visa backlog. Wait times have surged since March 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic led to a shutdown of U.S. embassies and consulates around the world. The pandemic continues to place strain on the number of visas the State Department is able to process.
Check back here next month for the latest backlog figures. If you recently received your interview notice, get prepared with our guide on what to expect at the green card interview.