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The Latest USCIS Processing Times – 2023

Up-to-date green card and naturalization processing times

“How long is too long?” when it comes to USCIS processing times?

“How long will it take?” and “Are we there yet?” are common questions when filing U.S. immigration forms, but U.S. authorities provide a way to get an answer.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the government agency responsible for processing green card and naturalization applications and other immigration forms, publishes and updates average processing times for 37 immigration forms, such as Form I-130, Form I-129F, or the N-400 naturalization form.

Using this information, you can identify whether your wait time is normal or if you should make a USCIS case inquiry.

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USCIS quarterly wait times trends

Using USCIS historic processing times data, you can see the trend line for how long the government will take to process your application. Importantly, USCIS uses Fiscal Years (FY), which run from October 1 of the prior year through September 30 of the year described. For instance, FY 2023 would run from October 1, 2022 to September 30, 2023.

Each quarter, USCIS releases its updated processing times for key forms. In Q1 of Fiscal Year 2023, Form I-485 and Form I-130 (when the sponsor is a U.S. citizen) improved significantly, while the processing time for Form I-129F remained high. The wait time for Form I-130 when the sponsor is a green card holder remained steady. In the graph below, you can see how wait times have changed in the past couple of years.

Keep reading for detailed wait times for various forms.



Wait times for green cards

Form I-130 (officially called the “Petition for Alien Relative”):

When the sponsor is a U.S. citizen (known as the CR1 visa) is 11.9 months.

When the sponsor is a green card holder (known as the F2A visa) is: 25 months.

For more up to date timelines, wimpacs analyzes monthly processing times at USCIS field offices across the country; you can find our timeline estimates for Form I-130 here.

Form I-485 (“Application for Adjustment of Status”):

Family-based green card applications (in other words, immediate relatives or spouses of a U.S. citizen) for applicants filing from within the United States average 11.5 months.

For more up to date timelines, Wimpacs analyzes monthly processing times at USCIS field offices across the country; you can find our timeline estimates for Form I-485 here.

Form I-131 (“Application for Travel Document – Advance Parole”):

Applications for advance parole are currently taking 6.1 months to process.

Form I-765 (“Application for Employment Authorization Document”):

The timeline for work permit applications is currently 6.7 months.

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Wait times for fiancé visas

Form I-129F (officially called the “Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)”):

The timeline for the first step in the K-1 visa process is currently 6 months.

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Did you know?

The U.S. government issues more than a million green cards every year. Most are given to family members of current green card holders and U.S. citizens, followed by workers from other countries seeking employment in the United States.

Wait times for naturalization applications

Processing times for Form N-400 (officially called the “Application for Naturalization”) have decreased in 2023, averaging 6.4 months. For more up to date timelines, we analyzes monthly processing times at USCIS field offices across the country; you can find our timeline estimates for Form N-400 here.

Not sure which visa is right for you? Take our free assessment to get a customized plan. Learn more.

Understanding USCIS processing times

To handle the enormous volume of applications it receives, USCIS is supported by field offices across the United States, and each applicant is assigned to a field office based on their ZIP code.

Every field office receives a different number of applications, directly impacting its processing speed compared with other offices. Different USCIS offices have substantially different waiting times, especially if you compare less-populated areas with large cities such as New York or Los Angeles.

USCIS then publishes the processing wait times for each field office and updates the figures once every month.

To find the office handling your case, enter your zipcode into the USCIS search box. This will bring up the relevant field office. Importantly, for some key forms such as Form I-130, Form I-129 and others, a USCIS service center will handle the application.

Once you have found the field office or service center handling your application, head over to the USCIS Case Processing Time tool. In the first dropdown box select your type of application, and in the second dropdown box select the field office or service center that is handling the application.

You will see the processing times presented as a range between two numbers. For example, say the processing time range for naturalization applications (Form N-400) at the Seattle, WA field office was 12.5 to 36 months. The first number reflects “the time it takes to complete 50% of cases (the median)” while the second number refers to the completion time for 93% of cases.

Using these two numbers, you will be able to see a range that the majority of cases are falling into during that specific period of time — remember, these numbers are updated weekly.

Wimpacs offers unlimited support from our team of immigration experts, so you can apply with confidence and focus on what’s important, your life in the U.S. Learn more.

What to do if you think you’re waiting too long

Before you begin your journey toward U.S. citizenship, it’s important to understand the basic responsibilities of being an American citizen. Some of the most important duties include the following:

You may be required to renounce your citizenship in other countries. Depending on your home country’s rules for dual citizenship (being a citizen of two countries at the same time), you may need to give up your current citizenship upon becoming an American. The United States permits dual citizenship, but it requires U.S. nationals to use their U.S. passports when traveling in and out of the United States.

Many countries — Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, for instance — also allow you to be a national of another country. India, Japan, and a number of others, however, require you to relinquish your citizenship in those countries once you become an American.

It’s best to check your home country’s policy on dual nationality before applying for naturalization if you intend to maintain your citizenship in that country.

You may be called upon to serve in the military. Mandatory military service enforced by a draft was officially discontinued in 1973. If reinstated, however, you could be drafted to serve. Any male who is a U.S. citizen or green card holder and has lived in the United States between the ages of 18 and 25 must register with the Selective Service System.

You may need to serve on a jury. In the United States, jury duty in a legal proceeding is mandatory. If summoned, you must attend, but you may not necessarily serve. Only those who are selected by the judge and attorneys after being summoned will actually serve on the jury.

Active-duty military service members, professional fire and police department workers, and some public government officers who serve full time in their positions are exempted from federal jury duty. Individuals who have served on a federal jury in the past two years, are aged 71 and older, or are volunteer first responders generally may request to be excused from service, but policies vary by district court. State and local courts impose their own rules but generally also exempt individuals based on age, disability, or their positions in public office.

You must file U.S. income tax returns for life — no matter where you live. As a U.S. citizen, even if you move abroad, you must still file U.S. income tax returns. As long as you meet certain requirements, though, you’ll be able to exclude from your income up to the yearly limit — currently over $100,000 — allowed by the U.S. government, meaning it won’t be taxed. Any income that exceeds that limit will generally be taxed.

Your criminal history will be heavily scrutinized. If you’ve committed a crime that could make you deportable — such as immigration fraud, drug abuse, or domestic violence — it’s especially important to seek legal assistance before applying for naturalization.

What to do if you think you’re waiting too long

Checking your case online is simple and USCIS will provide updates to it when available. But the process differs depending on whether you’re applying from within or outside the United States.

Learn more here about how to check the status of your application online based on where you’re applying from.

As always, there will be a wait time as processing gets underway. But how long is “too long” and how can you inquire about with USCIS about your case?

First, check the processing times for the office or service center handling your application using the USCIS processing time tool. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and there will be a breakdown of the different cases handled under the form.

Choose the category that applies to you and look to the right-hand side under “Receipt date for a case inquiry.” Check your confirmation paperwork from USCIS, looking for the date of receipt of your application. If you applied before this date and have not received a reply to your application, it means you can file a Case Inquiry with USCIS to find out what is happening with your application.

To get an update about a case that falls out of normal processing times, fill out the e-form on the USCIS website. This will notify USCIS and they will look into your case, coming with an answer as to why there is a delay.

This form, however, should only be filled out if your case falls before the “Receipt date for case inquiry.” Contacting them while your case remains within processing times will result in a generic reply to that effect

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