What do the new processing times mean?
The processing times now display an ‘Estimated Time Range’ in months for each of the four forms, and for each USCIS Service Center and each USCIS Field Office. Here is an example for the Boston Field Office for all forms I-485 (family and employment):
Our first recommendation is, when applicable, to look at the more specific range at the bottom of the page. Here, we will focus on family-based I-485s:
This means that, for family-based I-485s, starting with the date the I-485 is filed:
- 50% of the I-485 are adjudicated within 7 months of their filing
- 93% of the I-485 are adjudicated within 18 months of their filing
What about the ‘Case Inquiry Date’?
What USCIS is essentially saying is that, if you are part of the 7% that are beyond the high range of the processing times, you can get in touch with them through an ‘outside of processing time’ request. In the Boston Field Office, for family-based I-485s, you can submit a request if you submitted your I-485 before October 10th, 2016:
How often will the information be updated?
It sounds like USCIS will update the processing times at least every month (as opposed to every 3 months in the ‘old’ approach), within two weeks of the end of the month (as opposed to 6 weeks in the ‘old’ approach). For certain USCIS Field Offices, the Case Inquiry Date is said to be ‘rolling’, progressing by one day every day.