USCIS Processing Times for Form I-485 | Feb 2020

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 USCIS Update on February 5th, 2020). ‘Case Inquiry Date’ updated daily by USCIS. Rankings done by Immigration Planner based on performance over the last 12 months.
USCIS Field Office
Low
High
Ranking
Last 12 Months
Case Inquiry Date as of Today
Agana GU9.52427Low: 9.5 / 12 months; High: 22.5 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
Albany NY9.52427Low: 9.5 / 12 months; High: 22.5 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
Albuquerque NM9.52462Low: 5.5 / 12 months; High: 10.5 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
Anchorage AK9.52427Low: 9.5 / 12 months; High: 22.5 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
Atlanta GA6.523.570Low: 8 / 14.5 months; High: 17 / 35.5 monthsMar 18, 2018
Baltimore MD11.53184Low: 9.5 / 18.5 months; High: 18.5 / 37.5 monthsAug 2, 2017
Boise ID9.52450Low: 9.5 / 12 months; High: 22.5 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
Boston MA613.512Low: 5.5 / 11 months; High: 17 / 28 monthsJan 15, 2019
Brooklyn NY13.52986Low: 14.5 / 20.5 months; High: 22 / 35 monthsOct 5, 2017
Buffalo NY9.52451Low: 8.5 / 12.5 months; High: 22 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
Charleston SC71425Low: 9.5 / 12 months; High: 22.5 / 26 monthsJan 10, 2019
Charlotte Amalie VI9.52427Low: 9.5 / 12 months; High: 22.5 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
Charlotte NC112311Low: 6 / 12 months; High: 12.5 / 25 monthsApr 13, 2018
Chicago IL62483Low: 6 / 14 months; High: 23.5 / 38.5 monthsMar 8, 2018
Christiansted VI9.52427Low: 9.5 / 12 months; High: 22.5 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
Cincinnati OH9.52427Low: 9.5 / 12 months; High: 22.5 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
Cleveland OH9.52458Low: 9.5 / 12 months; High: 22.5 / 30 monthsMar 10, 2018
Columbus OH9.52452Low: 7.5 / 12 months; High: 19 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
Dallas TX919.571Low: 10 / 19 months; High: 19.5 / 25 monthsJul 19, 2018
Denver CO6.52768Low: 6.5 / 10.5 months; High: 21.5 / 39.5 monthsNov 29, 2017
Des Moines IA9.52427Low: 9.5 / 12 months; High: 22.5 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
Detroit MI613.51Low: 6 / 8.5 months; High: 12.5 / 18 monthsJan 17, 2019
El Paso TX5137Low: 5 / 11.5 months; High: 12 / 25 monthsFeb 9, 2019
Fort Myers FL9.52427Low: 9.5 / 12 months; High: 22.5 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
Fort Smith AR9.52427Low: 9.5 / 12 months; High: 22.5 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
Fresno CA711.52Low: 5.5 / 8 months; High: 12 / 23 monthsMar 17, 2019
Greer SC9.52427Low: 9.5 / 12 months; High: 22.5 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
Harlingen TX5.51714Low: 5.5 / 11.5 months; High: 16.5 / 31.5 monthsOct 10, 2018
Hartford CT11.524.565Low: 9.5 / 12 months; High: 16.5 / 35 monthsFeb 19, 2018
Helena MT9.52427Low: 9.5 / 12 months; High: 22.5 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
Hialeah FL6.518.578Low: 8 / 22.5 months; High: 16.5 / 31.5 monthsAug 15, 2018
Honolulu HI9.52426Low: 9.5 / 12 months; High: 22.5 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
Houston TX102580Low: 10.5 / 19.5 months; High: 23.5 / 28.5 monthsJan 30, 2018
Imperial CA9.52427Low: 9.5 / 12 months; High: 22.5 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
Indianapolis IN718.549Low: 6 / 11.5 months; High: 16.5 / 26 monthsAug 23, 2018
Jacksonville FL9.52461Low: 6 / 12 months; High: 13 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
Kansas City MO5.520.523Low: 6.5 / 12 months; High: 20 / 26 monthsJun 18, 2018
Kendall FL1131.579Low: 8.5 / 20.5 months; High: 16.5 / 29 monthsJul 16, 2017
Las Vegas NV8.518.516Low: 9.5 / 15 months; High: 16.5 / 23 monthsAug 24, 2018
Lawrence MA5.53276Low: 5 / 11.5 months; High: 15.5 / 39.5 monthsJul 11, 2017
Long Island NY9.53277Low: 7 / 10.5 months; High: 21.5 / 36.5 monthsJul 13, 2017
Los Angeles CA6.5146Low: 6 / 13.5 months; High: 15 / 20 monthsJan 3, 2019
Los Angeles County CA816.520Low: 9 / 13.5 months; High: 17.5 / 28.5 monthsOct 27, 2018
Louisville KY9.52427Low: 9.5 / 12 months; High: 22.5 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
Manchester NH9.52427Low: 9.5 / 12 months; High: 22.5 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
Memphis TN61254Low: 5 / 12 months; High: 11.5 / 25 monthsMar 12, 2019
Miami FL8.53785Low: 11 / 23.5 months; High: 22.5 / 37.5 monthsFeb 8, 2017
Milwaukee WI9.52453Low: 6.5 / 14 months; High: 18.5 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
Minneapolis-St. Paul MN1013.573Low: 10.5 / 17 months; High: 17 / 31 monthsJan 18, 2019
Montgomery AL8.51724Low: 7.5 / 12 months; High: 15 / 26 monthsOct 6, 2018
Mount Laurel NJ61917Low: 6 / 10 months; High: 15 / 30.5 monthsAug 3, 2018
Nashville TN9.524Mar 10, 2018
Newark NJ10.524.588Low: 17.5 / 21.5 months; High: 29.5 / 38 monthsFeb 17, 2018
New Orleans LA9.52460Low: 6.5 / 12 months; High: 14 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
New York City NY15.52787Low: 17.5 / 21.5 months; High: 29.5 / 38 monthsDec 6, 2017
Norfolk VA9.52413Low: 8 / 12 months; High: 15.5 / 25 monthsMar 10, 2018
Oakland Park FL123182Low: 9 / 22 months; High: 23.5 / 31.5 monthsAug 4, 2017
Oklahoma City OK9.52455Low: 5.5 / 12 months; High: 12.5 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
Omaha NE9.52459Low: 9.5 / 12 months; High: 12 / 25 monthsMar 10, 2018
Orlando FL102269Low: 9.5 / 14.5 months; High: 18 / 33 monthsMay 11, 2018
Philadelphia PA6.52119Low: 7 / 13.5 months; High: 18 / 26 monthsJun 1, 2018
Phoenix AZ7.52274Low: 7.5 / 20 months; High: 19.5 / 26 monthsMay 11, 2018
Pittsburgh PA9.52427Low: 9.5 / 12 months; High: 22.5 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
Portland ME9.52427Low: 9.5 / 12 months; High: 22.5 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
Portland OR9.52418Low: 6 / 12 months; High: 15.5 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
Providence RI9.52457Low: 7 / 12 months; High: 13.5 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
Queens NY6.523.567Low: 7 / 17.5 months; High: 21 / 28.5 monthsMar 17, 2018
Raleigh NC62815Low: 5.5 / 8 months; High: 14 / 30 monthsOct 31, 2017
Reno NV9.52427Low: 9.5 / 12 months; High: 22.5 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
Sacramento CA11.517.59Low: 8 / 16 months; High: 16.5 / 24.5 monthsSep 15, 2018
Saint Albans VT9.52427Low: 9.5 / 12 months; High: 22.5 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
Saint Louis MO9.52427Low: 9.5 / 12 months; High: 22.5 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
Salt Lake City UT6.519.556Low: 6.5 / 15.5 months; High: 15 / 25 monthsJul 23, 2018
San Antonio TX6.513.58Low: 6 / 10 months; High: 11 / 27 monthsJan 22, 2019
San Bernardino CA613.54Low: 6 / 7.5 months; High: 16 / 24 monthsJan 19, 2019
San Diego CA8.5223Low: 6 / 7.5 months; High: 15.5 / 22 monthsMay 2, 2018
San Fernando Valley CA82175Low: 9 / 17 months; High: 16.5 / 34.5 monthsJun 9, 2018
San Francisco CA172081Low: 17 / 19 months; High: 20.5 / 34 monthsJun 30, 2018
San Jose CA12.51666Low: 9 / 16 months; High: 18 / 29.5 monthsNov 7, 2018
San Juan PR9.52427Low: 9.5 / 12 months; High: 22.5 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
Santa Ana CA11.52164Low: 10.5 / 15.5 months; High: 16.5 / 27 monthsJun 2, 2018
Seattle WA1620.572Low: 11 / 19 months; High: 19 / 25 monthsJun 29, 2018
Spokane WA9.52427Low: 9.5 / 12 months; High: 22.5 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
Tampa FL9225Low: 6.5 / 11 months; High: 17.5 / 24.5 monthsMay 8, 2018
Tucson AZ9.52421Low: 6 / 12 months; High: 13 / 25 monthsMar 10, 2018
Washington DC1222.522Low: 8 / 12 months; High: 18 / 28 monthsApr 19, 2018
West Palm Beach FL9.52310Low: 7 / 10 months; High: 17.5 / 26 monthsApr 5, 2018
Wichita KS9.52463Low: 8 / 12 months; High: 8.5 / 25 monthsMar 10, 2018
Yakima WA9.52427Low: 9.5 / 12 months; High: 22.5 / 26 monthsMar 10, 2018
  • ‘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).

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 on February 5th 2020  (Will be updated again at the end of February / Beginning of March 2020 when USCIS updates it processing times)

  • Detroit MI
  • Fresno CA
  • San Diego CA
  • San Bernardino CA
  • Tampa FL
  • Los Angeles CA
  • El Paso TX
  • San Antonio TX
  • Sacramento CA
  • West Palm Beach FL

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 from one month to the next, changing in turn the ‘Case Inquiry Date’. By how much? On average +/- 2.75 months every month for USCIS Field Offices.

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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