Processing Times for Family-based petitions and applications, including I-130 and I-485

April 9, 2024

As part of our ongoing effort to provide updates on the processing times for family-based immigration applications, we have compiled a list of sample cases that our clients have experienced. This update covers a range of applications including I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative), I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status), and more. Our goal is to offer a glimpse into the current timelines that applicants might expect, based on real case progressions over the past couple of months.

Recent Case Approvals and Status Updates:

  1. I-130 Petition by U.S. Citizen for Spouse
    • Filing Date: August 14, 2023
    • Approval Date: March 22, 2024
    • Note: Underlying I-485 is still pending.
  2. I-130 and I-485 by U.S. Citizen for Spouse
    • Filing Date: May 9, 2023
    • Approval Date: March 22, 2024
  3. I-130 and I-485 by U.S. Citizen for Spouse
    • Filing Date: September 3, 2021
    • Approval Date: March 26, 2024
  4. I-130 and I-485 by U.S. Citizen for Parent
    • Filing Date: May 15, 2023
    • Approval Date: March 13, 2024
  5. I-130 and I-485 by Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) for Spouse
    • Filing Date: February 27, 2023
    • Approval Date: March 7, 2024
  6. I-130 (Consular) by U.S. Citizen for Spouse
    • Filing Date: February 13, 2023
    • Approval Date: January 24, 2024
    • Note: Case is currently at the National Visa Center (NVC).
  7. I-130 and I-485 by U.S. Citizen for Spouse
    • Filing Date: September 29, 2021
    • Approval Date: February 15, 2024
  8. I-130 (Consular) by U.S. Citizen for Child
    • Filing Date: November 14, 2022
    • Approval Date: January 23, 2024
    • Note: Waiting for interview at U.S. embassy.
  9. I-130 and I-485 by U.S. Citizen for Spouse
    • Filing Date: February 11, 2022
    • Approval Date: January 29, 2024
  10. I-130 (Consular) by U.S. Citizen for Child
    • Filing Date: January 12, 2023
    • Approval Date: December 13, 2023
    • Note: Case is currently at NVC.
  11. I-130 (Consular) by U.S. Citizen for Parent
    • Filing Date: December 30, 2022
    • Approval Date: November 17, 2023
    • Note: Embassy interview date set.
  12. I-130 by U.S. Citizen for Spouse
    • Filing Date: October 20, 2022
    • Approval Date: September 11, 2023
    • Note: Waiting for interview at U.S. embassy

Reflections on Processing Times:

Compared to our last update on November 21, 2023, we’re observing continued variability in processing times across different case types and filing dates. Notably, some cases filed in 2021 are only now seeing approvals, underscoring the backlog and extended processing times experienced by applicants and their families.

It’s also apparent that cases filed in 2023 are beginning to see approvals within a comparable timeframe, indicating a possible stabilization or improvement in processing speeds. However, as each case is unique, applicants should prepare for variability and continue to monitor their case status regularly.

November 21, 2023

Here’s another update on the processing times for family-based immigration applications, including the I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative), I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status), and the I-765 (Employment Authorization Document) and I-131 (advance parole).

Marriage-Based Green Card (I-130 and I-485):

  • Filing Date: October 06, 2022
  • Approval Date: October 13, 2023
  • Processing Duration: Approximately 12 months
  • Field Office: Baltimore

This particular case stands out remarkably, as the processing time was significantly shorter than the average processing duration for the Baltimore USCIS office, which is currently around 22 months. This example represents an exceptionally fast processing time. We have many filed in 2022 and some in 2021 that are still pending.

Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Applications:

  • Case 1:
    • Filing Date: September 08, 2023
    • Approval Date: October 04, 2023
    • Processing Duration: Less than a month
  • Case 2:
    • Filing Date: July 24, 2023
    • Approval Date: September 15, 2023
    • Processing Duration: About 1.5 months
  • Case 3:
    • Filing Date: June 15, 2023
    • Approval Date: October 29, 2023
    • Processing Duration: About 4.5 months
  • Case 4:
    • Filing Date: April 12, 2023
    • Approval Date: September 15, 2023
    • Processing Duration: 5 months

The above cases of EAD processing show a range of processing times. While some applicants received their EADs in under a month, others had to wait for up to five months.

September 21, 2023

We are excited to share another update on the I-765 (Employment Authorization Document) processing times, particularly those filed in conjunction with family-based I-485 applications. Continuing the positive trend we highlighted in July, we are witnessing even more encouraging statistics, showing that processing times have further improved.

Sample Processing Times:

  1. Application Filed: May 26, 2023 Approval Date: August 11, 2023 Processing Duration: 2 months, 16 days
  2. Application Filed: August 3, 2023 Approval Date: September 6, 2023 Processing Duration: 1 month, 3 days

From the above, it’s evident that USCIS is continuing to refine and expedite its processing timelines. The marked decrease, especially in the latter example, is testament to the ongoing improvements in the efficiency of USCIS’s processing mechanisms.

To reiterate from our July post, the fiscal year 2022 often saw processing times stretching up to a year. This landscape changed dramatically post-October 2022, with an even more significant shift evident for applications filed after January 2023. The sample cases above, especially the one filed in August 2023 and approved in a little over a month, highlight the continuing momentum.

It’s also worth noting that the prioritization of I-765 (EAD) applications, which we mentioned in our previous update, has likely contributed to these expedited processing times. With such a framework in place, applicants can remain optimistic about receiving their Employment Authorization Document faster than before.

July 24, 2023

We continually monitor trends and changes in processing times to provide you with the most up-to-date information possible. Today, we are happy to present an updated look at the processing times for marriage-based Green Card applications.

To illustrate recent processing times, we’ll share three case samples, all of which are marriage-based, filed by US citizens for their spouses.

Case 1: The first case involves a petition where both the I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) and I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) were filed concurrently on July 28, 2021. After USCIS issued a Request for Evidence (RFE) for bona fide marriage on February 27, 2023, a response was filed in early May 2023, and approval for both applications came a few days later, on May 10, 2023. The total processing time for this case was approximately 22 months.

Case 2: Our second case sample also involves a concurrent filing of I-130 and I-485, but this was done on January 31, 2022. This case included an RFE regarding inadmissibility due to a criminal arrest. After the RFE was issued on March 31, 2023, the response was submitted on May 3, 2023. Both applications were approved later that month, on May 25, 2023, leading to a total processing time of about 16 months.

Case 3: The third case, again a marriage-based petition, involved I-130 and I-485 applications filed on November 30, 2022. In contrast to the first two examples, this case had no RFE issued, and both applications were approved relatively quickly, on July 12, 2023, resulting in a processing time of just over seven months.

It does seem like USCIS is continuing to approve a significant number of marriage-based I-485 applications without interviews and is also demonstrating an improvement in processing times. In our previous blog post on April 7, 2023, we shared a case that took 19 months for approval without an RFE or interview. Now, in our latest example, we have encountered a sample that just too over six months—a marked improvement.

We remain hopeful that these trends continue, leading to more efficient and streamlined processing for marriage-based Green Card applications.

July 17, 2023

Updated Processing Times for USCIS I-765 (EAD) and I-131 (AP) Applications

In recent months, we’ve noticed a positive trend in the processing times for I-765 (Employment Authorization Document) and I-131 (Advance Parole) applications, particularly those filed concurrently with the family-based I-485 form.

In comparison to the fiscal year 2022, the processing times have shown notable improvements. As evidence, here are several representative samples indicating a substantial decrease in the processing period, with the quickest completion time being as short as a month.

In contrast, applications filed towards the end of FY 2022 often took a year or even longer to process. However, we’ve observed a significant shift in processing speed for cases filed after October 2023. Remarkably, applications submitted particularly after January 2023 experienced less than a six-month processing window, with the record time clocking in at just shy of one month.

Also, note that as of early this year, USCIS has been prioritizing the processing of I-765 (EAD) applications. Consequently, applicants can typically expect their Employment Authorization Document to be approved and arrive before their Advance Parole.

In conclusion, it appears the USCIS processing times are improving, which is indeed encouraging news for applicants.

May 12, 2023

Processing times for EAD (I-765) continue to improve. Here’s one that took just 2.5 months. Filed with I-485 marriage based.

April 11, 2023

Received on EAD (I-765) approval in about 4 months and another in 8 months. Both filed together with I-485 marriage based. Posted time frame is 11.5 months at the national benefits center. Since USCIS is now bifurcating the adjudication of EAD and AP with a focus on EAD, you will likely see approvals of EAD first before AP.

April 7, 2023

USCIS seems to approve a significant amount of marriage-based I-485 without interview and RFE, including ones with barebones supporting documents showing bona fide marriage. Here is a sample showing 19 months of processing time. No RFE. No interview.

Some recent tweets on the subject:

April 4, 2023

Here’s a sample EAD based on a pending family-based I-485 that took 10 months to process. In line with posted time frame.

March 13, 2023

A sample I-130 approval (marriage based) showing 17 months of processing time.

February 16, 2023

Processing times remain unchanged for I-130 petitions by US citizens for their spouses. Expect more than one year.

January 9, 2023

Here’s a sample I-130 approval for a spouse of a US citizen. The total processing time is about one year, matching the posted time frame for Texas. Note that the I-130 may be transferred between service centers. This was filed in Texas and then transferred to Vermont.

January 5, 2023

We will start tracking the processing times of family-based petitions and applications. Below is a sample approval of an I-130 petition by a U.S. citizen for their unmarried son. The total processing time was about 36 months. The long processing time is quite normal, given the long visa wait time for filing for GC or applying for an immigrant visa. Currently, the wait time is about 8 years for the rest of the world and 23 years for nationals of the Philippines.

Processing times of I-130s by USC for their spouses are unusually slow. The sample below shows a total of 21 months. USCIS’ posted time frame is about 10.5 months.