Immigration cases don’t happen overnight. It takes time for the immigration service to review applications, conduct interviews, and ultimately, make a decision. That’s why they have set processing times for immigration cases, giving applicants an idea of how long they’ll have to wait before their cases are adjudicated.

Despite this, however, the processing times provided aren’t always accurate.

Case Studies

Our office recently received two marriage-based green cards. One arrived well within the processing time, while the other experienced significant delays.

The first case was filed 1 year and four months ago. The applicant was living in the United States with her spouse. A concurrent filing was conducted where the I-130 and the I-485 petitions were submitted along with all other related applications. The case took 1 year and 4 months, which is within the allocated processing time.

Then we have another marriage-based green card case that took 3 years to adjudicate. The client went through a very different process than the former. First, he filed the fiancé I-129F in 2021 and then waited a year for that approval to come in.

After that, a K-1 visa application was filed, which experienced a delay with the embassy. The client also had work matters that didn’t allow him to enter the U.S. with his K-1 visa right away, which added time to his case.

Once he arrived in the U.S., he had to get married to his fiancé. When they became spouses, the green card application was filed in June of 2023. 10 months later, the I-485 petition was approved. Counting the process from start to finish, it took three solid years to get approval for the K-1 visa. 

The Verdict

The two case studies show one glaring truth: processing times can differ on a case-to-case basis. The immigration process is not fast, and it’s important that applicants are prepared for slow processing times for their cases. Our office always advises clients not to rely on the posted processing times and instead expect to wait longer for the approval of their applications.