U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced a joint plan to eliminate the backlog of name checks pending with the FBI.

USCIS and the FBI established a series of milestones prioritizing work based on the age of the pending name check. The FBI has already eliminated all name check cases pending more than four years.

"This plan of action is the product of a strong partnership between USCIS and the FBI to eliminate the backlogs and to strengthen national security," said USCIS Director Emilio Gonzalez.

By increasing staff, expanding resources, and applying new business processes, the goal is to complete 98 percent of all name checks within 30 days. USCIS and the FBI intend to resolve the remaining two percent, which represent the most difficult name checks and require additional time to complete, within 90 days or less. The goal is to achieve and sustain these processing times by June 2009.

The joint plan will focus on resolving the oldest pending FBI name checks first. USCIS has also requested that the FBI prioritize resolution of approximately 29,800 pending name checks from naturalization applicants submitted to the FBI before May 2006 where the naturalization applicant was already interviewed.