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USCIS updates processing time estimates, but are they accurate?

If you are considering petitioning or to applying to USCIS to gain entry to the United States, your primary concern will be processing times, your expectations regarding when your case will be decided. Accurate projection of processing time is crucial for individuals making future plans and for employers undertaking looking to hire.

A month ago, USCIS officially announced that their new processing times webpage launched to share more accurate processing times – reflecting a new methodology for collecting and calculating processing times that is automated and more accurate. USCIS started analyzing four (4) forms, to start, using the new methodology for processing time estimates as a pilot: N-400 (Application for Naturalization), I-90 (Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card), I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status), and I-751 (Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence).

According to USCIS, this new process allows USCIS to collect relevant and automated data and to post data on processing times within two (2) weeks for more accurate results. Previously, USCIS would take more than six (6) weeks to generate an approximate processing time, increasing the period of uncertainty for applicants and businesses. Thus, this new process should theoretically reduce time lags while providing more up-to-date information.

But is USCIS’s analysis accurate?

Upon receiving the news, we checked several pending cases with our affiliated immigration attorneys via the new system from the USCIS.


For I-485 processing at Baltimore’s field office, the estimated time range is from 8 months to 64.5 months under the new estimate system. For the I-751 processing at field office, the estimated time range is from 21.5 months to 46.5 months.

Do you find these USCIS estimate helpful, or are they far too broad?

As we’ve stated, the ability to obtain more accurate, reliable, and timely processing status is so vital for immigration attorneys and their clients. Lawfully remains hopeful that USCIS will continue improving the system and be able to provide meaningful estimates that are particular to each case. Lawfully will also continue monitoring this subject and developing our own system to provide more accurate information to our clients while we wait for USCIS to improve its offering.


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