Backlog in Immigration Benefit Applications Declined in FY 2023, a Positive Trend

(Washington)—The backlog for immigration benefit applications declined in FY2023, according to a report issued this week by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a positive trend the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) applauds and hopes will continue in 2024.

According to the report, USCIS completed an unprecedented 10 million immigration cases last fiscal year and, for the first time in over a decade, USCIS has been able to reduce its overall backlog of pending cases. The agency received 10.9 million immigration court filings in FY2023.

“The ILRC hopes this trend can continue so immigrants do not have to wait many months to have their cases resolved,” said ILRC Policy Attorney & Strategist Elizabeth Taufa.” We appreciate the agency’s efforts to reduce backlogs and processing times and commend them for the success they’ve had on naturalization and other applications. We hope to see the agency continue this trend and improve the processing times for all benefit applications going forward.”

“The ILRC firmly believes USCIS’s mission is to streamline the immigration process to make it easier, friendlier and more cost effective for all immigrants,” Taufa added. “By focusing its efforts on streamlining application processes, the agency can continue to make applying for benefits easier and more efficient for applicants and agency officials, alike.”

We hope the agency will continue to be open to receiving feedback from the ILRC and other stakeholders as it continues improving the accessibility of immigration benefits. 


The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is a national nonprofit that works with immigrants, community organizations, legal professionals, and policy makers to build a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people. Through community education programs, legal training & technical assistance, and policy development & advocacy, the ILRC works to protect and defend the fundamental rights of immigrant families and communities.