The average processing time for naturalization applications has almost doubled, from about five months in early 2016 to an average of almost nine months today, according to a report from the National Partnership With New Americans.
The rise in processing times is likely due at least in part to the influx of naturalization applications around the presidential election, which has created a lengthy backlog. Over the past year, 1,028,647 lawful permanent residents have applied for citizenship, according to the report ― an increase of almost 11 percent over the prior year. The backlog has increased by more than 35 percent over last year, the report says. Increased scrutiny of applicants appears to be playing a role in the delays.
Many of us in the immigration advocacy community believe that the rising number of citizenship applications is the result of the anti-immigrant rhetoric surrounding the presidential campaign as well as the continued crackdowns on immigration since President Trump was sworn in.