I-140 Processing Time – How Long Does I-140 Take?


By Imagility

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U.S. Employers who are applying for a skilled worker to get a green card in the U.S. must file Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker with the USCIS. This petition establishes a non-U.S. citizen’s or a foreign worker’s eligibility for employment-based permanent residency in the country.

How long it takes for the I-140 application to be processed depends on a few things. One factor is the “priority date,” which must match up with the Department of State’s visa bulletin. The typical processing time for an I-140 petition, also called the Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, ranges from 6 to 22 months. But this timeframe can change based on different factors such as the service center you picked, the category of your petition, and how busy the service center is. However, most people wait around six months on average to get a decision on their I-140 petitions.

I-140 Processing Times

USCIS provides estimated processing times on its website, but they are not exact and may vary. The actual wait time for your I-140 can vary depending on several factors:

  • Employment-based preference category: There are five preference categories (EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, EB-4, and EB-5) within the I-140 process, each with its own processing timelines. Generally, EB-1 (for extraordinary ability workers) and EB-5 (for investors) tend to be faster, while EB-2 and EB-3 (for skilled and professional workers) can take significantly longer.
  • USCIS workload: Just like any government agency, USCIS experiences periodic variations in its workload. If they’re swamped with petitions, processing times can stretch.
  • Case complexity: Petitions with complete documentation sail through quicker than petitions that require additional scrutiny or evidence.

Here’s a quick rundown of USCIS’s estimated processing times:

  • EB-1A, EB-1B, EB-1C, National Interest Waiver: 6 to 8 months
  • EB-2, EB-3: 10 to 24 months
  • EB-4, EB-5: 6 to 8 months

Keep Track of USCIS Case Processing Times

We recommend checking out the USCIS website and utilizing their “Check Case Processing Times” tool. This tool allows you to input your specific service center location and I-140 category to see current processing ranges.

I-140 Premium Processing

Can’t wait for months on end? You can opt for a premium processing service for I-140 petitions at an additional cost of $2,805. This service guarantees a decision (approval, denial, request for evidence) within 15 calendar days. However, remember that premium processing doesn’t guarantee approval, you will only get a faster response.

The Final Word

The I-140 processing timeline can be frustrating, but understanding the factors at play and utilizing available resources can help manage expectations. Remember, an immigration attorney can also be a valuable asset throughout this process, offering guidance and ensuring your application is complete and ready for USCIS’s review. So, take a deep breath, stay informed, and hopefully, your wait for that green card will be shorter than you think.

Navigating the I-140 process can be tough, but with the right guidance and resources, it’s manageable. Seeking assistance from an immigration attorney can be invaluable, as they can guide you and ensure your application is prepared for USCIS review.  In addition, tools like Imagility can make things smoother. Imagility offers features like petition analysis, compliance assistance, and streamlined document management, making the entire process smoother and more efficient. So, while waiting for your green card, stay informed, and stay calm. With the right support, getting your permanent residency can be easier than you think.

Reach out to us for a demo today at sales@imagility.co or call us at +1 603 782 4622/+1 617 865 6588 to know how Imagility can help.

Related Resources

What is an EB-2 Visa?

EB Visas Uncovered: Know All EB Visa Types

Employment-Based Visa: Everything You Need to Know

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