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US Immigration Appointment Wait Times and Visa Processing Times

By Casey July 10, 2020 (Updated January 26, 2024) 5 min. read

If you are planning on applying for a United States visa to immigrate, it is common to question how long it will take for the US Consulate to process this visa.

What Factors Play a Role in USCIS Processing Times?

The processing time for a US visa depends mainly on which visa you are trying to get. There are also a handful of other components that tend to affect how long it will take your visa to process:

Keep in mind that some visa applications may require additional, administrative processing, which could add even more time to the estimate (you should be informed when you apply if additional processing is required for your situation).

Visit our page on how to speed up your US immigration processing time to learn more.

Permanent Resident I-485 Processing Time 2024

6-33 months

Being the most long-term US visa, you can expect the processing time for permanent residence to be more lengthy than most other visas. According to USCIS, an application for permanent residence (Form I-485) will take anywhere from 6 months to 33 months to process depending on the factors listed above.

Learn more about US Green Card.

US Passport Processing Time 2024

6-8 weeks

The current processing time for US passports is 6-8 weeks. U.S. passport processing times have significantly decreased, reaching their fastest since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

USA Family Visa Processing Time 2024

Immediate Family

6-19 months

On average, the I-130 (family sponsorship visa) filed by your immediate family member takes between 6 to 19 months to be processed. The USCIS processes the petition on a first-come, first-served basis. Your sponsor can expedite the process by submitting the form as early as possible.

IR-1: Spouse of a US citizen Sponsorship

If your spouse is a U.S. citizen and you currently live in the US, it takes on average 12.5–20.5 months to get a marriage-based green card.

If your spouse is a U.S. citizen and you currently live outside the United States, it takes on average 14–15 months to get a spousal visa.

IR-2 Unmarried children under 21 years of age of a U.S. citizen

Minor children of U.S. citizens can usually get a green card 1-2 years after starting the green card application process.

IR-3: Orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. citizen

It can take anywhere from 6 months to more than 1 year to bring your adopted kid to the United States. This mainly depends on the procedures and regulations you follow and how long it takes to acquire adoption clearance from foreign nations.

IR-4: Orphan to be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. citizen

There is no definite timeframe for processing the application for the IR-4 US Visa since the USCIS does not give any. Although no precise timeframe is specified, an estimate of 6 months to 1 year is presented, during which the citizen would be permitted to bring the child to the US if the application is approved.

IR-5: Parent of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old

It will typically take from 6 months up to 1 year for the applicant or parent to receive the IR5 visa.

Learn more about US Family Immediate Sponsorship.

Family Preference

14 months to 20+ years

For family preference visas (for example, siblings), processing times can range anywhere from 13.5 months to 20 or more years.

Learn more about US Family Preference Sponsorship.

Spousal Visa USA Processing Times 2024

Spouses of US Citizens

12.5-15 months

If your spouse is a U.S. citizen and you currently live in the US, it takes on average 12.5–20.5 months to get a marriage-based green card.

If your spouse is a U.S. citizen and you currently live outside the United States, it takes on average 14–15 months to get a spousal visa.

Learn more about US Spousal Sponsorship.

Visitor Visa Processing Time 2024

2 weeks – 3 months

The average visa processing time for a United States visitor visa at the Embassy is three days. Due to mailing time, applicants can expect to receive their visas in 2 weeks to 3 months on average.

Learn more about US Visitor Visas.

Student Visa Processing Time 2024

Immediately – several days

The US student visa (F-1 visa) is one of the fastest visas to process. The study permit is often processed directly before your embassy interview. The interview is the last step of the application process. By the end of the interview, the consular officer should tell you whether or not your application was approved. Some F-1 visa applications will take several days to process, in which case your approval will come several days after the interview.

Learn more about US Student Visas.

Work Visa Processing Time 2024

5-7 months

Depending on which type of work visa you apply for, it takes about 5–7 months for USCIS to process work permit applications.

Learn more about US Work Visas.

Find Out USCIS Visa Processing Times From an Immigration Professional

Book a consultation today with an immigration professional! One of our United States immigration professionals will determine exactly how long it will take for you to receive your US visa.

Use the USCIS Processing Time tool to determine how long your US visa processing time may take.

If you are interested in Canadian immigration, please feel free to visit our page on Canadian Immigration Processing Times.

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Christopher Miller

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Michael Klaper

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Michael Klaper, M.D.

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