How do you determine how long it takes to process an immigration case with USCIS?

There are several factors that determine how long it will take to process an immigration case with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Much depends on the type of process, the complexity, the amount of work involved, and the country of origin of the person who filed a petition or form for an immigration benefit.

In order to accommodate all the paperwork, the USCIS established a system of processing times that it publishes periodically.

USCIS processes cases in the order they are received. But processing times vary depending on which office or processing center an application was sent to.

The following information is needed to verify application or request processing times:

- Type of form
- Date USCIS received the form
- Office where the form is being reviewed

This information appears on Form I-797C, Notice of Action, which USCIS sent you when it agreed to process your case.

You can view the "USCIS Processing Times" in the table at the USCIS webpage on processing times.

How to use the table

The table shows the majority of forms processed at local offices or service centers.

From the drop-down menu you must select the office or service center where your case is being reviewed.

For example, if your case is in the Los Angeles Field Office, you should check that city.

menu processing times Los Angeles

Then you will have to click where it says Field Office Processing Dates:

menu processing times

You will see the table with the processing dates for the different forms.

dates of procedures-los-angeles

If the local office or service center is progressing according to its goals for a certain form, the processing time will be listed by month.

For example, if Naturalization Applications, Form N-400, are being processed in 5 months or less, it will indicate "5 months" as seen in the most recent table.

But if there is a backlog in case processing, you will see the filing date of the last case the office completed before the table was updated.

As can be seen in the table, that is the situation for Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, the last case of which was completed at the Los Angeles Field Office on October 3, 2014.

This only applies to immigration proceedings with the USCIS.

For information on the Visa Bulletin describing processing times for immigrant visas, click here.