On November 30, 2007, USCIS, through Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, made some promises about speeding up the name check problem applicants are facing. It promised to put more resources into clearing name checks, or more accurately, paying more to the FBI to speed things up. It is hard to tell if name check clearances have actually sped up since. We will need more statistics to see. The problem for permanent resident applicants went away when USCIS announced on February 4, 2008, that it would no longer delay adjustment of status applications for more than six months because of name checks.
On April 2, 2008, USCIS announced more details about speeding up the process. In a press release, USCIS provided a timetable, promising to complete name checks pending more than three years by May 2008, to complete name checks pending more than two years by July 2008, and to complete name checks pending more than one year by November 2008. The goal, according to the press release, is to process all name checks within 90 days by June 2009.
I can only hope that this press release and timetable are accurate. I am, after all, young at heart.