US Immigration Visa Processing Times

By Casey July 10, 2020 (Updated January 19, 2022) 4 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.

Note: As of March 2020, United States processing times may take longer than normal due to the effects 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. There are several reasons including these COVID-19 restrictions that have caused US immigration application backlogging.

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 have an effect on 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 2022

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.

Family Sponsorship Processing Time 2022

Immediate Family

14-19 months

On average, the I-130 (family sponsorship visa) filed by your immediate family member takes between 14 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.

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 Sponsorship I-130 Processing Time 2022

7-32 months

It will usually take anywhere from 7 to 24 months for USCIS to process and approve a spousal sponsorship visa. It can take an additional 6 to 10 months to get an immigrant visa to the US.

Learn more about US Spousal Sponsorship.

Visitor Visa Processing Time 2022

7-10 days

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 2022

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 2022

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.