More Information About Case Processing Times
We display case processing times for select forms and locations to let you know how long it generally
takes to process benefit requests and when you can contact us with questions about your case. We update
case processing times on the website monthly with the latest available data.
This webpage provides information on how to:
- Find information needed to use the processing times webpage;
- Read and interpret the processing times on the webpage; and
- Understand how to use the case inquiry tool.
Finding Your Case Information
You will need some specific information about your case to use the processing times webpage and case inquiry
tools. Below is an example of where you can find specific information on USCIS correspondence. This
information is also found on USCIS receipt notices, and some information may be found on a copy of your
application, petition, or request. We also provide guidance for determining your form type (sometimes
referred to as case type) and relevant form category.
If the “USCIS Office” is the National Benefits Center (NBC) and you have filed an employment-based
or family-based Form I‑485, a Form N‑400, or a Form N‑600, you should check processing times for your local field office.
You can use our Field Office Locator if you need help determining your local office (scroll to the bottom of the page).
If your case is transferred to another office, you should refer to the processing times for the new office.
What Does the Processing Time Mean and How Is It Calculated?
The processing time displayed on the USCIS website is the amount of time it took us to complete 80% of adjudicated
cases over the last six months. Processing time is defined as the number of days (or months) that have elapsed
between the date USCIS received an application, petition, or request and the date USCIS completed the application,
petition, or request (that is, approved or denied it) in a given six-month period.
For example, if we received a Form N‑400 on Jan. 24, 2022, and completed adjudication of the application on March 5,
2022, then the processing time for that specific application is 41 days. This calculation is done for every Form
N‑400 we completed in March 2022 and the five months prior to March 2022 (a six-month period).
We then review the processing times for adjudicated cases to determine how long it took for 80% of those cases to be
completed over the previous six months. So, if we completed 1,000 Form N‑400 applications in the previous six months,
and 80% (or 800) of them were completed within 60 days (or two months), then the processing times webpage will
display two months as the processing time for Form N‑400 in May 2022.
Processing times generally reflect how long we have taken to complete applications, petitions, or requests. Many
factors may affect how long it takes USCIS to complete an application, petition or request, such as the number
of applications, petitions, or requests we receive, workload and staffing allocations, the time a benefit requestor
takes responding to a request for more information, as well as policy and operational changes, among other factors.
Most forms displayed on the processing times webpage use this methodology. However, some forms use an older methodology
known as “cycle time.”1 The cycle time measures how many months' worth of cases are awaiting a decision
for a particular form.
For example, if an office had 500 applications for Form I‑800 pending in April 2020 and the office received 200 Form
I‑800s in February 2020 and 300 Form I‑800s in March 2020, then the cycle time for Form I‑800 in April 2020 was two
months (200 + 300 = 500 pending applications).
Internally, USCIS uses the cycle time methodology to gauge progress toward reducing our backlog of cases.
Learn more about our internal cycle time goals for certain forms.
When and How Can I Ask a Question About the Status of My Case?
Processing times are provided as a reference point for how long we have taken to complete most cases. Because many factors
impact the processing time – and to better manage our limited resources by allowing staff to focus on adjudicating cases
rather than responding to inquiries – we allow inquiries for cases that are taking longer than the time USCIS took to
complete 93% of adjudications. Those cases are deemed to be outside normal processing times. For forms that still use the
cycle time methodology, we generally define outside normal processing times as those cases that are taking longer than
130% of the cycle time.2
You must go to the processing times webpage, where we provide a tool to help you determine whether you can request an update
on your case. Using the tool, you enter your receipt date, which can be found on your receipt notice, into the text box.
If your case is outside normal processing times (beyond the time to complete 93% of adjudicated cases or beyond 130%
of the cycle time), you will be provided a link for submitting an inquiry. If your case is within normal processing times,
you will be provided an estimated date for when you can contact us. Please check back periodically because processing
times may change.
How Is the Case Inquiry Date Calculated?
This is how we calculate the case inquiry date:
Case Inquiry Date = [time to complete 93% of adjudicated cases] – [today’s date – receipt date]
If you checked our processing times webpage on Jan. 1, 2022, for a form you filed on Jan. 1, 2021,
and the time to complete 93% of adjudicated cases was 13 months, your case inquiry date would be
Case Inquiry Date = [13 months] – [Jan. 1, 2022 – Jan. 1, 2021]
= [13 months] – [12 months]
= one month
In this example, we estimate that you would be able to contact us in one month. The tool will
provide the exact date for you. If the calculation for the case inquiry date produces a negative
number, you will be able to submit a question about your case.
You can find additional information on our Frequently Asked Questions About Processing Times webpage.