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What’s the number one question my clients ask me? “How long will it take for my case to be approved?” Here’s a comprehensive guide to find out the answer to this important question.

The USCIS processing dates posted online refer to the estimated time it takes for USCIS to process and adjudicate a particular type of immigration application or petition. These processing times are based on historical data and may vary depending on factors such as the volume of applications received, the complexity of the case, and the USCIS workload. It’s important to keep in mind that these processing times are only estimates, and your case may take longer or shorter than the estimated processing time. Additionally, if your case requires supplemental documentation or information, it may take longer to process.

In terms of how long your case may take to get approved, this will depend on the specific details of your case, such as the type of visa or immigration benefit you are applying for, your eligibility for that benefit, and the current processing times. It’s important to work closely with your immigration attorney to ensure that your case is filed correctly and that any issues are addressed promptly to help ensure timely approval.

To check the USCIS processing times for your specific case, you can go to the USCIS website https://egov.uscis.gov/processing-times/ and select the appropriate form number and immigration category. The website will provide an estimated processing time range, which can give you an idea of how long it may take for your case to be adjudicated.

Here are some helpful step-by-step instructions to make navigating the USCIS processing times website a bit easier:


Step 1: Select your form number from the drop-down menu. You will find the form number at the top right of your Receipt Notice.

Step 2: Select the category from the drop-down menu. If you are not sure of the category, ask your immigration lawyer. 

Step 3: Select your field office or Service center, you will find this information at the bottom left of your receipt notice. 

Step 4: Click on Get Processing times.

You will then be shown the number of months on average that USCIS is taking to complete 80% of your case type.

Step 5: Understand that you cannot submit an inquiry to USCIS until you are “beyond” the USCIS maximum processing time for your case type. To find out when this is, scroll further down to the section: “When is your receipt date?” After entering your receipt date, Select: Get Inquiry Date. (You will find your receipt date on your USCIS receipt notice). 

You will be given the earliest date you can submit any questions to USCIS about why your case is taking longer than the maximum processing times. Do not be alarmed if this date is far into the future! USCIS has committed to improving these times to process cases faster.  

Understanding USCIS processing times is crucial for managing expectations and planning your immigration journey. By following the steps outlined in this guide and working closely with your immigration attorney, you can stay informed about the progress of your case and take the necessary steps to ensure a smoother and more efficient process. Remember, patience and proactive communication are key as you navigate the complexities of the immigration system. We are here to help!

Nadine Heitz

Nadine Heitz is an immigration attorney in Lake Worth, Florida where she helps her clients obtain legal status in the United States. Book your consultation with her to find out how to solve your immigration issues and achieve your desired goals.