USCIS Tests New “More Accurate” Method to Calculate Processing Times


Agency says estimated wait times will be easier to understand

Apr 13, 2021


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it is testing a new way to calculate processing times for immigration forms, including for green card and naturalization applications.

“With this method, we can post processing times that are more accurate, timely, and easier to understand,” the agency wrote on its website.

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The move comes as the Biden administration grapples with a huge backlog of nearly 2.6 million visa applications. Backlogs in some visa categories are 50 to 100 times higher than they were four years ago, at the start of the Trump presidency, according to CNN.

USCIS will test the new method with the following forms:

What’s changing?

USCIS will now post processing times as a range — the first number is the amount of time it takes to process 50% of cases, and the second number shows the time it takes to process 93% of cases.

USCIS changes the way it posts processing times

The times are based on an analysis of the complete cases for the previous month, unless the agency states otherwise.

USCIS said it would update processing times each month. For forms outside of the list above, the agency will continue to use the old method to calculate wait times.

For applicants filing applications in the future, keep in mind that processing times do fluctuate.

“We calculate processing times by using historical data of completed cases,” said the agency. “We cannot project how long it will take to complete a case filed today.”

How do I find the processing time for my application?

To figure out your processing time, you will need to look up online the USCIS field office or service center handling your case. Boundless has prepared a detailed guide about understanding USCIS processing times, including step-by-step instructions on how to determine the estimated wait time for your form.


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