UNITED STATES – USCIS Updates Case Processing Times

The four U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regional offices have issued updated processing times.? The general trend seems to be slightly faster processing times for most employment-based case types.? As the economy has struggled, fewer petitions have been filed.? This has enabled USCIS to move cases faster through the process to final adjudication.? As the economy begins to improve and the volume of employment-based sponsorship increases, USCIS will need to maintain proper staffing levels to avoid having processing times backslide.

California Service Center

From an employment-based immigration perspective, the California Service Center (CSC) primarily processes non-immigrant petitions.? CSC processes cases filed for individuals whose worksites are in one of the following states: AK, AZ, CA, CO, GU, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, ND, OH, OR, SD, UT, WA, WI, and WY.

The processing time for most I-129s is 2 months.? This includes petitions for initial H-1B status, H-1B extensions, TN status, O-1 status, and H-3 status.? Petitions for L-1 individuals, H-2As, and H-2Bs are down to 1 month.

Interestingly, most applications for dependent spouses and children are at 2.5 months.? Applications for employment authorization for L-2 dependent spouses currently have a processing time of 3 months.

Vermont Service Center

Under the bi-specialization initiative, the Vermont Service Center (VSC) is the other regional processing center that focuses on petitions for non-immigrant employment-based immigration benefits.? VSC processes cases filed for individuals whose worksites are in one of the following states: AL,?AR, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MS, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OK, PA, PR, RI, SC, TN, TX, VT, VA, VI,?and WV.

For employment-based cases, VSC?s processing times mirror CSC?s processing times.? Most I-129 petitions have a processing time of 2 months, with the exception of L-1 individuals, H-2As, and H-2Bs.? Again, applications for dependents are at 2.5 months, and applications for L-2 dependent spouse work authorization are 3 months.

Nebraska Service Center

For employment-based immigration cases, the Nebraska Service Center (NSC) processes I-140 petitions for immigrant workers and I-485 green card applications, as well as derivative work and travel authorization benefits (EAD work document and advance parole travel authorization).? NSC processes cases filed for individuals whose worksites are in one of the following states: AK, AZ, CA, CO, GU, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, ND, OH, OR, SD, UT, WA, WI, and WY.

I-140 petitions now have a processing time of 4 months.? This includes petitions sponsoring Outstanding Researchers or Professors, or those with Extraordinary Ability.? I-485 applications for adjustment of status are down to less than 10 months.?

The processing times of applications for EAD work authorization and advance parole (AP) travel authorization remains at a troubling 3 months.? The concern here is for those who filed I-485 applications in the summer of 2007 when all priority dates became current, and whose priority dates then retrogressed.? Applications to extend EAD and AP can only be filed 4 months in advance.? With a processing time of 3 months, any delay in filing could result in a gap of work and travel authorization.

Texas Service Center

Under the bi-specialization initiative, the Texas Service Center (TSC) is the other regional processing center that focuses on I-140 petitions for immigrant workers and I-485 green card applications, as well as derivative work and travel authorization benefits (EAD work document and advance parole travel authorization).? TSC processes cases filed for individuals whose worksites/residences are in one of the following states: AL,?AR, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MS, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OK, PA, PR, RI, SC, TN, TX, VT, VA, VI,?and WV.

The processing times at TSC are the same as those listed above for NSC, except that I-485 applications for adjustment of status are taking just over 6 months.? This is a surprisingly fast processing time for this type of case.? Several months ago, many I-485 applications for adjustment of status were taking close to a year.? Please note that the processing time for an I-485 only applies to applicants whose priority dates are current.

To view the processing time of other case types not discussed here, please visit: https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/processTimesDisplay.do;jsessionid=cab8BH8TCZBdC_JKj6Ils.? Select the desired regional processing center in the pull-down menu at the bottom of the page.