Latest USCIS Processing Times for Form I-485

WHAT ARE THE PROCESSING TIMES FOR FORM I-485?

Form I-485 Processing Times per USCIS Field Office. ‘Low’ and ‘High’ updated monthly by USCIS (Last Update May 25th, 2019). ‘Case Inquiry Date’ updated daily by USCIS. Rankings done by Immigration Planner based on performance since June 2018.
USCIS Field Office
Low
High
Ranking
Analysis
Case Inquiry Date
Agana GU112544Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 22.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Albany NY112533Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 22.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Albuquerque NM112564Low: Stable (between 6 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 13.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Anchorage AK112544Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 22.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Atlanta GA92079Low: Unstable (between 11 and 16.5 months). High: Unstable (between 17 and 35 months).Jan 12, 2018
Baltimore MD12.529.583Low: Unstable (between 9.5 and 18 months). High: Unstable (between 18.5 and 42 months).Apr 1, 2017
Boise ID112566Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 14.5 months). High: Stable (between 20 and 30.5 months).Aug 16, 2017
Boston MA61716Low: Unstable (between 4.5 and 11 months). High: Unstable (between 11.5 and 24.5 months).Apr 11, 2018
Brooklyn NY18.525.588Low: Stable (between 13.5 and 20.5 months). High: Stable (between 22 and 35 months).Aug 1, 2017
Buffalo NY112560Low: Stable (between 8 and 12.5 months). High: Stable (between 15 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Charleston SC112563Low: Stable (between 7 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 13.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Charlotte Amalie VI112544Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 22.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Charlotte NC112511Low: Stable (between 7 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 16 and 23.5 months).Aug 16, 2017
Chicago IL143781Low: Stable (between 5 and 13.5 months). High: Stable (between 25.5 and 36 months).Aug 12, 2016
Christiansted VI112544Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 22.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Cincinnati OH112529Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 22.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Cleveland OH112524Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 22.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Columbus OH112556Low: Stable (between 7.5 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 19 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Dallas TX13.522.575Low: Stable (between 15.5 and 19 months). High: Stable (between 21 and 29 months).Oct 30, 2017
Denver CO6.52370Low: Stable (between 6.5 and 15.5 months). High: Stable (between 20.5 and 31 months).Oct 11, 2017
Des Moines IA112543Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 22.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Detroit MI6.516.53Low: Stable (between 6 and 10.5 months). High: Stable (between 14 and 23.5 months).Apr 26, 2018
El Paso TX6.52110Low: Stable (between 6 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 15 and 24 months).Dec 11, 2017
Fort Myers FL112551Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 22.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Fort Smith AR112544Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 22.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Fresno CA614.512Low: Unstable (between 6.5 and 10 months). High: Unstable (between 15.5 and 32.5 months).Jun 25, 2018
Greer SC112541Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 22.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Harlingen TX6.522.557Low: Unstable (between 6.5 and 10.5 months). High: Unstable (between 20 and 32.5 months).Oct 18, 2017
Hartford CT10.52515Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 15 and 23.5 months).Aug 7, 2017
Helena MT112537Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 22.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Hialeah FL22.52721Low: Stable (between 8.5 and 14 months). High: Stable (between 16.5 and 26 months).Jun 7, 2017
Honolulu HI112555Low: Stable (between 9 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 18.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Houston TX14.523.586Low: Stable (between 16.5 and 21.5 months). High: Stable (between 23 and 34 months).Sep 24, 2017
Imperial CA112529Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 22.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Indianapolis IN112554Low: Stable (between 5.5 and 11.5 months). High: Stable (between 17.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Jacksonville FL112520Low: Stable (between 6 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 13.5 and 23.5 months).Aug 16, 2017
Kansas City MO112523Low: Stable (between 5.5 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 20 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Kendall FL122859Low: Stable (between 9 and 14 months). High: Stable (between 16.5 and 29 months).May 9, 2017
Las Vegas NV131867Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 15.5 months). High: Stable (between 18.5 and 29 months).Mar 3, 2018
Lawrence MA515.519Low: Stable (between 6 and 11.5 months). High: Stable (between 12.5 and 24 months).May 20, 2018
Long Island NY828.571Low: Stable (between 8 and 11.5 months). High: Stable (between 21.5 and 31.5 months).Apr 23, 2017
Los Angeles CA9.51877Low: Unstable (between 4 and 16 months). High: Unstable (between 17 and 35.5 months).Mar 6, 2018
Los Angeles County CA11.51976Low: Unstable (between 12 and 13.5 months). High: Unstable (between 18 and 35 months).Feb 12, 2018
Louisville KY112531Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 22.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Manchester NH112527Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 22.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Memphis TN51522Low: Stable (between 6.5 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 16.5 and 23.5 months).Jun 7, 2018
Miami FL112552Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 22.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Milwaukee WI112558Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 14 months). High: Stable (between 20.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Minneapolis-St. Paul MN13.519.574Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 17 months). High: Stable (between 23 and 31 months).Jan 15, 2018
Montgomery AL112526Low: Stable (between 8 and 14 months). High: Stable (between 16.5 and 27 months).Aug 16, 2017
Mount Laurel NJ718.56Low: Stable (between 7.5 and 11 months). High: Stable (between 15 and 23 months).Feb 15, 2018
Nashville TN1125#N/A#N/AAug 16, 2017
Newark NJ1025.578Low: Stable (between 14 and 20.5 months). High: Stable (between 26 and 34 months).Jul 29, 2017
New Orleans LA112561Low: Stable (between 9.5 and 15 months). High: Stable (between 18 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
New York City NY213687Low: Stable (between 14 and 20.5 months). High: Stable (between 26 and 34 months).Sep 14, 2016
Norfolk VA817.536Low: Stable (between 9 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 19.5 and 29 months).Mar 29, 2018
Oakland Park FL1623.585Low: Stable (between 11 and 22 months). High: Stable (between 23 and 34.5 months).Sep 17, 2017
Oklahoma City OK5.515.518Low: Stable (between 6 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 15.5 and 23.5 months).May 27, 2018
Omaha NE112534Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 22.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Orlando FL13.53368Low: Stable (between 7.5 and 16.5 months). High: Stable (between 18 and 29 months).Dec 5, 2016
Philadelphia PA10.520.569Low: Stable (between 9.5 and 13.5 months). High: Stable (between 19.5 and 33 months).Dec 18, 2017
Phoenix AZ1721.580Low: Unstable (between 8.5 and 20 months). High: Unstable (between 17.5 and 32 months).Nov 16, 2017
Pittsburgh PA112525Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 22.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Portland ME112527Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 22.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Portland OR6.51614Low: Unstable (between 6 and 12 months). High: Unstable (between 14 and 33.5 months).May 12, 2018
Providence RI714.517Low: Unstable (between 6 and 12 months). High: Unstable (between 13.5 and 23.5 months).Jun 20, 2018
Queens NY724.562Low: Stable (between 4 and 14 months). High: Stable (between 19.5 and 25.5 months).Aug 30, 2017
Raleigh NC5.5175Low: Unstable (between 6 and 11.5 months). High: Unstable (between 12.5 and 24.5 months).Mar 31, 2018
Reno NV112541Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 22.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Sacramento CA919.513Low: Stable (between 8 and 11.5 months). High: Stable (between 16.5 and 24.5 months).Jan 18, 2018
Saint Albans VT112550Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 22.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Saint Louis MO112537Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 22.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Salt Lake City UT112544Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 22.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
San Antonio TX925.52Low: Stable (between 7 and 11 months). High: Stable (between 15 and 19.5 months).Jul 21, 2017
San Bernardino CA6.519.59Low: Unstable (between 6 and 10.5 months). High: Unstable (between 14.5 and 31.5 months).Jan 22, 2018
San Diego CA7221Low: Stable (between 5.5 and 10.5 months). High: Stable (between 11 and 21.5 months).Nov 10, 2017
San Fernando Valley CA1619.582Low: Unstable (between 12.5 and 17 months). High: Unstable (between 18.5 and 35.5 months).Jan 28, 2018
San Francisco CA172284Low: Unstable (between 11 and 19 months). High: Unstable (between 20 and 35.5 months).Nov 4, 2017
San Jose CA1227.565Low: Stable (between 7 and 12.5 months). High: Stable (between 19 and 31 months).May 21, 2017
San Juan PR112540Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 22.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Santa Ana CA1324.573Low: Unstable (between 11 and 15.5 months). High: Unstable (between 21 and 34 months).Aug 30, 2017
Seattle WA112572Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 17 months). High: Stable (between 19 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Spokane WA112537Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 22.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Tampa FL6.5194Low: Stable (between 6 and 9 months). High: Stable (between 14.5 and 23 months).Jan 29, 2018
Tucson AZ112553Low: Unstable (between 5.5 and 12 months). High: Unstable (between 12.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Washington DC10.522.57Low: Stable (between 8 and 11.5 months). High: Stable (between 17 and 22 months).Oct 16, 2017
West Palm Beach FL7.5218Low: Stable (between 8.5 and 12.5 months). High: Stable (between 16.5 and 21 months).Dec 12, 2017
Wichita KS112534Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 22.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
Yakima WA112531Low: Stable (between 10.5 and 12 months). High: Stable (between 22.5 and 29 months).Aug 16, 2017
  • ‘Low’ is the low-end of the range communicated by USCIS for the Field Office, expressed in ‘months’. It is the ‘best-case’ scenario. It means that USCIS makes a decision (following the Interview) on 50% of the filed I-485s within the ‘low’ number of months;
  • ‘High’ is the high-end, the ‘worst-case’ scenario, the time its takes USCIS to make a decision on 93% of I-485s it received.
  • If it takes longer for you than the ‘High’, then it means that the Receipt Date of your I-485 is before the ‘Case Inquiry Date’ and that you are allowed to get in touch with USCIS.
  • The data is refreshed and updated every morning (Eastern Time of the United States), because certain elements, such as the ‘Case Inquiry Dates’ are updated every day.
  • The data provided is exclusively for Family I-485 (not Employment).

Get a detailed, personalized I-485 timeline using the Processing Times that apply to you (based on your zip code)

Immigration Planner Web Forms

What’s different about Form I-485 Processing Times?
Form I-485 is one of the few forms (along with Forms I-751, I-90, and N-400) to benefit from the new USCIS Processing Times methodology rolled out in April 2018, which means that:

  • They better reflect the time it takes applicants to get an answer on their I-485 (not USCIS ‘backlog’ like before);
  • They are updated more regularly (almost every month, compared to every 3 months before);
  • It communicates clearly, through the ‘Case Inquiry Date’, whether the applicant is allowed to get in touch with USCIS because it is taking too long.

Which immigration forms have new processing times?

Form I-485 (adjust status), Form I-751 (remove conditions on a two-year green card obtained though marriage), Form I-90 (renew a 10-year green cards), N-400 (naturalize to acquire U.S. citizenship).


Why the change?

The processing times displayed by USCIS have been unhelpful to applicants for years. The goal is to get relevant information to applicants.


Does that mean that USCIS will process applications faster?

Unfortunately the answer is no. USCIS changed the way they will communicate about their process in the future, but they have not changed the process itself.

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):

USCIS General Processing Time

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:

USCIS Family and Employment Processing Time

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:

USCIS Case Inquiry Date


How often are the USCIS processing times updated by USCIS?

USCIS is updating the processing times every month (as opposed to every 3 months in the ‘old’ approach). These are the dates of the I-485 processing times updates, starting with the most recent:

  • May 25th, 2019
  • May 1st, 2019
  • March 13th, 2019
  • January 28th, 2019
  • December 19th, 2018
  • November 8th, 2018
  • September 28th, 2018
  • August 29th, 2018
  • August 2nd, 2018
  • July 7th, 2018
  • June 1st, 2018

The Case Inquiry Date is said to be ‘rolling’: once the processing times are updated for a given month, the Case Inquiry Date progresses automatically by one day, every day.

What about the other forms, including Form I-130?

This is a ‘pilot’, so a trial based on which USCIS says they will gather feedback, adjust their methodology if need be, and then extend to other forms. The calendar associated with a broader rollout is not known.

The forms that are not part of the pilot are now displaying a range. The range is made of the old date and the old date + 30%. Because the ‘old’ date is still computed using the ‘old’ backlog-driven methodology, this is not an improvement as much as a vague attempt at managing applicants’ expectations.


What do the Processing Times released by USCIS for family I-485s tell you?

Immigration Planner identified the following USCIS Field Offices with the fastest (and ‘stable’) I-485 processing times. Last updated in June 2019:

  • San Diego CA
  • San Antonio TX
  • Detroit MI
  • Tampa FL
  • Raleigh NC
  • Mount Laurel NJ
  • Washington DC
  • West Palm Beach FL
  • San Bernardino CA
  • El Paso TX

What do the Case Interview Dates released by USCIS for family I-485s tell you?

The ‘Case Inquiry Date’ is derived from the ‘high’ (or 93% completion). The issue here is that the ‘high’ can change a lot from one month to the next, changing in turn the ‘Case Inquiry Date’. By how much? Generally by 2 months or less. But note that during the last update 25 USCIS Field Offices (out of 88) had a change in the ‘high’ of 3 months or more.

What is Immigration Planner’s preliminary analysis of the new approach?

Like many, we are delighted that USCIS is tackling the processing time issue and we will certainly provide our feedback and the one of our community to USCIS. This is our current assessment:

  • The ‘Case Inquiry Date’ is an improvement, because it is clear and actionable by applicants.
  • Focusing more specifically on Form I-485, the new processing time range is an improvement but its impact is currently reduced by the following factors:
    • The filing date of Form I-485 for some applicants has been dictated by the ‘Filing Date’ of the Visa Bulletin, when the actual adjudication is guided by the ‘Final Action Date’ of the Visa Bulletin. As a result, it seems that the processing time range could be materially impacted by the fluctuations of the ‘distance’ between Filing and Action Dates.
    • The computations include the time associated with Request for Evidence (RFE) for applicants who receive one. The numbers would be more meaningful to applicants if processing times without RFE were known, and separate numbers associated with the impact of RFEs were communicated.
    • The computations are based only on last month’s completion. Such a small sample size might inflate volatility, although it is hard to say at this point.
  • The new ‘range’ using the ‘old’ methodology for forms not part of the pilot is not convincing at all. It is simply artificially broadening a range, acknowledging that the old approach lead applicants to be too optimistic because they misunderstood the data.
  • USCIS is using different percentages in different situation. For instance, the ‘personalized’ processing time accessible to applicants through myUSCIS will be based on the time it takes for 80% of the applications to be adjudicated. 80% is neither the 50% or the 93% that is used for USCIS Offices. We are not saying this is a bad idea, but the rationale behind the choice is not completely clear. Traditionally, USCIS would first communicate the average processing time for all applicants and then communicate the extent of the ‘dispersion’ around that average.

Why now?

The processing times displayed by USCIS have been unhelpful to applicants for years. The dates given by USCIS were understood by applicants as the priority date of of the case currently being reviewed by a USCIS Office when in fact they were an indication of the backlog of pending applications.

DHSThe shortcomings of the USCIS system have been pointed out by multiple reports emanating from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the CIS Ombudsman starting more than a decade ago.When yet another report by the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued in March 2018 underscored the deficiencies, USCIS might have felt it was time to start acting.

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