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.
Note: As of March 2020, United States processing times may take longer than normal due to the affects COVID-19 has had on US immigration offices. Visit our page on the latest impacts Coronavirus has had on US immigration in order to stay up-to-date on this topic.
What Factors Play a Role in US 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 which tend to have affect on how long it will take your visa to process:
- The Field Office or Service Center (or the National Benefits Center) that is processing your case
- If your application is filled out correctly and accompanied by all needed documents
- The order the application is received in comparison to other applications
- If you are applying for a US non-immigrant vs a US immigrant visa
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).
Permanent Resident Processing Time
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.
Family Sponsorship Processing Time
On average, the I-130 (family sponsorship visa) filed by your sponsor takes between 6 to 12 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.
Learn more about US Family Sponsorship.
Visitor Visa Processing Time
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 7 to 10 calendar days on average.
Learn more about US Visitor Visas.
Student Visa Processing Time
Immediately – several days
The US student visa (F-1 visa) is one of the fastest visas to process. In fact, 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
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 US 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.