U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processes cases on a first in, first out basis. The time the agency takes to process Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative depends on the relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary. Depending on the type of the case and the priority date, the time taken to process Form I-130 will vary between 9 months and 20 years.
USCIS processing times can be found on the USCIS website. Processing times will be the shortest for the immediate relatives of U.S. citizens for whom an unlimited number of immigrant visas are made available every year. In most cases, applicants who belong to this category can get their applications approved in five to nine months. For people belonging to one of the following immediate relatives categories, the wait time to get an immigrant visa is short.
- IR-1: Husband or wife of a U.S. citizen
- IR-2: Unmarried children of U.S. citizens who are under 21 years of age
- IR-3: Orphans adopted abroad by U.S. citizens
- IR-4: Orphans to be adopted by U.S. citizens in the U.S.
- IR-5: Parents of U.S. citizens who are above 21 years of age
The wait time to get the I-130 application approved for applicants belonging to all other family preference categories is longer. This is because of the limit in the number of visas issued to applicants belonging to these categories. Following are the family preference categories for whom the wait times are longer.
- F1 – Family First Preference: Unmarried children of U.S. citizens and their minor children, if any.
- F2 – Family Second Preference: Husband or wife, minor children and unmarried children above age 21 of lawful permanent residents.
- F3 – Family Third Preference: Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens and their husband or wife and minor children.
- F4 – Family Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens and their husband or wife and minor children, provided the U.S. citizen is above 21 years of age.
Here are the Form I-130 processing times for the different USCIS Service Centers as of September 30, 2017.
|Basis for Filing||USCIS Sevice Centers|
|California Service Center||Texas Service Center||Vermont Service Center||Nebraska Service Center||Potomac Service Center|
|Permanent resident filling for a spouse or child under 21||August 23, 2016||July 15, 2017||July 1, 2017||January 14, 2017||April 6, 2017|
|U.S. citizen filing for a spouse, parent, or child under 21
|February 2, 2017||September 15, 2017||January 14, 2017||March 8, 2017|
|U.S. citizen filing for an unmarried son or daughter over 21
|February 2, 2016||February 2, 2017||September 15, 2017||January 14, 2017||April 6, 2017|
|Permanent resident filling for an unmarried son or daughter over 21
|May 27, 2015||May 1, 2017||September 15, 2017||January 14, 2017||April 6, 2017|
|U.S. citizen filing for a married son or daughter over 21
|March 20, 2012||February 2, 2017||September 15, 2017||January 14, 2017||April 6, 2017|
|U.S. citizen filing for a brother or sister
|May 19, 2011||February 2, 2017||November 7, 2011||January 14, 2017||April 6, 2017|