i-130 Processing Times

As of 2022, the USCIS processing time for Form I-130 range between 5 months and 10 years. Processing time will vary based on the immigration status of the petitioner, the petition type and the service center.

There are certain limitations to the relatives you can petition based on your immigration status.

Only U.S Citizens or Green card holders may file Form I-130 with the USCIS to petition a relative.

Green Card Holders can petition for the following relatives

  • Spouse
  • Unmarried sons or daughters of any age

U.S citizens can petition for the following relatives

  • Spouse
  • Unmarried sons or daughters of any age
  • Married sons or daughters of any age
  • Brothers or sisters only if you are 21 years of age or older
  • Your parents only if you are 21 years of age or older

There are five service centers that process Form I-130. Each has its own processing time based on the number of petitions they are processing.

If you filed already and you received your approval notice then you can use the receipt number to find the processing center. The processing center will also be printed at the bottom of your receipt.

Below is the list of all service centers involved in processing Form I-130:

  • California Service Center
  • Texas Service Center
  • Vermont Service Center
  • Nebraska Service Center
  • Potomac Service Center

If you are looking to file in the future please understand certain types of I-130 petitions (the type of relationship between you and the relative) are not processed in all the service centers.

Here are more details regarding the different service center processing times, the immigration status of the petitioner and the relative.

The ranges below are estimated processing times as of February 2019. For current processing times, please visit the USCIS website.

California Service Center

Green Card holders estimated time

  • If filing for a spouse — 25 months.
  • If filing for a child under 21 years of age — 25 months.
  • If filing for unmarried son or daughter who is 21 years or older — 62.5 months.

U.S citizens estimated time

  • If filing for unmarried son or daughter who is  21 years or older — 47.5 months
  • If filing for a married son or daughter who is 21 years or older — 115 months
  • If filing for a brother or sister — 138.5 months

Texas Service Center

Green Card Holders estimated time

  • If filing for a spouse — 7.5 months
  • If filing for a child under 21 years of age — 7.5 months
  • If filing for unmarried son or daughter who is 21 years or older — 7.5 months

U.S citizens estimated time

  • If filing for a spouse — 11.5 months
  • If filing for father or mother — 11.5 months
  • If filing for a child under 21 years of age — 11.5 months
  • If filing for unmarried son or daughter who is 21 years or older — 11.5 months
  • If filing for a married son or daughter who is 21 years or older — 7.5 months
  • If filing for a brother or sister — 7.5 months

Vermont Service Center

Green Card Holders estimated time

  • If filing for a spouse — 28 months
  • If filing for a child under 21 years of age — 28 months
  • If filing for unmarried son or daughter who is 21 years or older — 53.5 months

U.S citizens estimated time

  • If filing for a spouse — 14.5 months
  • If filing for father or mother — 14.5 months
  • If filing for a child under 21 years of age — 14.5 months
  • If filing for unmarried son or daughter who is 21 years or older — 57.5 months
  • If filing for a married son or daughter who is 21 years or older — 57.5 months
  • If filing for a brother or sister — 97 months

Nebraska Service Center

Green Card Holders estimated time

  • If filing for a spouse — 5 months
  • If filing for a child under 21 years of age — 5 months
  • If filing for unmarried son or daughter who — 52.5 months

U.S citizens estimated time

  • If filing for a spouse — 5 months
  • If filing for father or mother — 5 months
  • If filing for a child under 21 years of age — 5 months
  • If filing for unmarried son or daughter who is 21 years or older — 7.5 months
  • If filing for a married son or daughter who is 21 years or older — 103.5 months
  • If filing for a brother or sister — 123.5 months

Potomac Service Center

Green Card Holders estimated time

  • If filing for a spouse — 30 months
  • If filing for a child under 21 years of age — 30 months
  • If filing for unmarried son or daughter who — 30 months

U.S citizens estimated time

  • If filing for a spouse — 12 months
  • If filing for father or mother — 12 months
  • If filing for a child under 21 years of age — 12 months
  • If filing for unmarried son or daughter who is 21 years or older — 30 months
  • If filing for a married son or daughter who is 21 years or older — 30 months
  • If filing for a brother or sister — 30 months

Service Center FAQ’s

Can I choose the service center with the shortest processing time?

If you have not filed your application already then based on the above processing time details you may be wishing you could choose which service center to use. Unfortunately, you cannot do that. Completed forms should be sent to the right USCIS lockbox facilities as instructed. The lockbox facilities will forward the applications to the appropriate service centers for further processing.

Can I request to change the service center?

If you filed already and you are checking for the processing time then you might wonder if it is possible to change the service center. Unfortunately, you cannot change the service center after filing Form I-130.

When applications are sent to the lockbox facilities they will forward the applications to the service centers designated to that application. USCIS has a huge backlog and unfortunately is not processing applications fast.

If the workload of the service center is too high they might transfer cases to a different service center to decrease the backlog. However, this will not likely have any impact on the processing time of your application.

What to do if my processing time is way longer than the time range given?

If you have already filed and your processing time seems to be more than the above-mentioned date range then you might be eligible to submit an “outside normal processing time” service request to the USCIS.

What does “outside normal processing time” service request mean?

USCIS is not yet perfect in managing the paperwork. This leaves room for errors when millions of applications are involved. So when you are submitting Form I-130, USCIS will send a receipt to inform about your petition.

It is important to follow the next steps as required by the USCIS. If a petition is accepted for further processing then the notice will carry a receipt date. This receipt date can be used to inquire about your application if you are eligible.

How to know which service center is processing my case?

Each service center has its unique code with 3 characters. The first three characters of the receipt number represent the USCIS service center. With that characters you can find the service center.

How to know if I am eligible to ask USCIS about my petition?

To check if you are eligible to submit a request you need the approval notice. The approval notice will contain a receipt date. If the receipt date is before the receipt date displayed on the USCIS website then you may submit a request to the USCIS. By entering your receipt date you can find out if you can contact USCIS with questions.