The wait time for I-130 processing varies for each family. Typically, I-130 forms are processed in the order received. Other factors that impact wait times include the relationship between the applicant and beneficiary and the total number of I-130 forms received for processing.
Immediate Family Members
I-130 applications for immediate family members are usually processed much faster than other applications. The applicant’s spouse, parents and unmarried children under the age of 21 are considered immediate family members. While the specific wait time can be shorter or longer, many applications for immediate family members are approved within five months.
Extended Family Members
Other beneficiaries, such as aunts, adult children, siblings and cousins, are not considered immediate family members. Citizens are allowed a limited number of family visas for their extended family, and wait times are often up to 12 months or longer for these I-130 applicants. For instance, I-130 processing times for children over the age of 21 usually range from seven months to over 12 months.
Tips for Faster Approval
Before filing the I-130, review the form carefully to check for errors. Errors and missing information are common reasons I-130 forms are denied, and denials make waiting times significantly longer. Applicants also need to send the I-130 form to the correct lockbox, or processing center, based on their current mailing address.
Submitting I-130 Forms
Two locations are available in the United States, with one location in Phoenix and one location in Chicago. Each location serves specific regions of the United States, and the Chicago location processes I-130 forms for beneficiaries residing outside the United States.
Send the form to the correct lockbox location, and include a payment method with the form to further speed processing times. While wait times can vary based on the number of I-130 forms received, processing times are generally easier to estimate when considering the relationship between the applicant and beneficiary.