Where and How to Find USCIS Processing Time and NVC Timeframes
One of the common concerns for immigrants is closely related to the processing time of green card and other visa applications. Why? In many cases, the estimated processing time misses the real one: the application process drags on and on due to heavy backlogs and other unusual circumstances such as the global pandemic and the following immigration policies. Frustrating as it sounds to many of you, USCIS and National Visa Center (NVC) are trying their best to keep you posted on the expected timeline. In an effort to do so, both USCIS and NVC have regularly updated its processing time in their own way. Find out where and how they provide the details and compare the differences. Last but not least, check out the best way to track your case status and predict the approval date of your visa application.
Historical National Median Processing Time for USCIS Offices
If you are struggling to figure out an expected decision date for your visa application in the U.S., take a look at this historical data USCIS has compiled for the recent 5 years. A table shows in a chronological order an average processing time by form ranging from I-130 to N-400. You can compare how the trend of the processing time has changed every fiscal year, such as whether the number has been going up or not. One caveat is that this information is not broken down into each service center. Since its processing time varies depending on its location, the overall average time may be less accurate than you expected. Nevertheless, this is still a decent indicator for you to measure the processing time of your application and decide if your case status is outside the normal processing time. Go to this page to learn more about the entire records in the past.
USCIS Case Processing Time
As mentioned above, some of you may not prefer historical national median processing time due to its lack of service center-specific information. Instead, USCIS gives you a different angle with which you can select your form number and a field office or a service center assigned to review your case. For example, on this webpage, select Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker and California Service Center. You can see 1) estimated time range 2) form type (L, E, H-1B) and 3) receipt date for a case inquiry. For an L visa application, it would take between 1 and 4 months in California service center while Nebraska service center generates a different number and handles H-1B only.
National Visa Center (NVC) displays 3 different timeframes, as opposed to the expected processing time by form since the agency mainly operates on online applications, DS-160 (non-immigrant visa) and DS-260 (immigrant visa). Also, if you applied for a family-based or employment-based green card, you will wonder when your approved Form I-120 or I-130 is transferred to NVC for the next step. You can check 1) current case file creation time 2) current case review time and 3) current public inquiry form response time. Another 101 article, What Does National Visa Center (NVC) Timeframe Tell You?, gives you specifics of the timeframes.
How to track your USCIS and NVC case effectively
Above all, you don't have to look up those two resources in order to predict the processing time of your case anymore. Lawfully came up with a ground-breaking solution to help all immigrants and non-immigrants learn what is going on with their applications. That is why Lawfully has launched the USCIS Case Tracker. Since then, we have tirelessly improved its features with a firm commitment to immigration equality.
With a very small fraction of cost and time it would have taken to struggle with immigration attorneys and USCIS, give yourself 3 minutes to fill in the information about your application. BOOM! You can check your case status along with an expected processing time and compare yours with other similar cases at your fingertips. No need to check in on the USCIS website anymore. Lawfully will deliver updates on your case status in real-time. And don't miss the new feature of NVC case tracking that extends our tracking range and embraces visa applicants outside the U.S.
If you want to get more insights from a certain visa type, try Case Analysis Pro, and among other features, see your ranking compared to others who registered their cases so that you get a sense of where you stand.
Download Lawfully Case Tracker now and stay up to date!