How long my immigration case take?
Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer, practicing law throughout the United States at our office here in St. Louis, Missouri. When we do consults with individuals who are thinking about applying for an immigration benefit, number one, they want to know, “Mr. Jim, do you think my case will be approved?” And number two, the second most important thing to them is, “Jim, how long will it take?” And in this video, we’re going to cover that topic of how long cases take.
Now, USCIS keeps pushing back their posted processing times, and I never put much stock into processing times. In other words, I think that you can’t read too much into it. They’re always just pushing them back to give themselves more and more cushion when your case takes longer and longer. Obviously with the current administration, they’re trying to delay every immigration benefit that they can. And they’ve put in all these anti-fraud measures that really are just designed to slow the whole process down to gum up the works and to keep you, or your loved one from getting the immigration benefits that they deserve.
So when you think about different cases, you got to figure out the processing times for each of those kinds of cases. Now there’s lots of factors that go into how long a case will take. If you are living in a big city, like let’s say New York or San Francisco or Miami, those offices are very, very busy. Now, they are larger than other offices, but they are in and of themselves very, very busy. And so we’ve had cases recently, for instance, a spouse case for a green card in New York, took 18 months. And that was before Corona, right? And we’ve had other ones here in St. Louis or in Chicago that take about seven or eight months. So, where you live is one big factor.
Another factor is what kind of case it is. So naturalization cases tend to go more quickly than green card cases. So marriage-based green card cases probably take the longest, especially overseas cases. So right now, for an overseas marriage-based case, it’s taking about 16 to 18 months to get those cases finalized. It’s ridiculous. We used to in the old days, get those cases approved in five or six months and the visa actually issued, if you can imagine that. But right now, you’re going to spend about nine or 10 months at USCIS. Then you’re going to spend a few months at the National Visa Center. And then you’re going to spend time waiting for the embassy to conduct the visa interview.
A fiance visa would go a little bit quicker, maybe a month or two shorter. So probably 14 to 16 months there. Naturalization cases, like I said, they’re going faster. We’ve had cases here in St. Louis that went in as short as seven or eight months. And like I said, in other places, the processing times are going to take a little bit longer.
So there’s not much you can do to make cases go faster. Obviously if you get at the end of your rope and you’ve been waiting years and years, then you’re going to talk about suing them. We’ve got plenty of videos about that. But for the most part, you’re just going to have to wait and wait for the case to process. I wouldn’t put much stock either in what other people say, how long their cases took. I know there’s a lot of forums where people sort of trade priority dates and figure out when their case might get approved. But every case is different. There’s lots of different factors that go into when a case is going to be scheduled for an interview. And you just sort of have to let the process run its course.
If you have questions about this or about processing times for your kind of case, give us a call at (314) 961-8200. You can email us at [email protected] Be sure to join us in our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home. And if you liked this video, we ask that you please share it out on social and that you subscribe to our YouTube channel so that you get updates whenever we make videos, just like this one. Thanks a lot. Have a great day.