Once you file your immigration application, waiting for a decision on your application can feel like an eternity.
For a long time, the USCIS had a system in place that would give you an idea when your application might be complete but the U.S. Office of Inspector General recently said the information was confusing and typically inaccurate.
As of March 2018, the USCIS announced a new way to check your processing time. Here’s what you need to know.
Checking your processing time online
The USCIS allows you to check your processing time on their website. When you arrive at the site you will see two boxes one where you select the form you’re filling out and another for the field office or service center.
First, click on the name or number of the form you completed. For example, if I completed a green card renewal I would select Form I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card.
Once you click on the form you’ve submitted you will need to choose the field office or service center your application is being processed in. The click on “Get processing time”
A window like this will appear:
This window clearly states the estimated time range for a green card renewal is 11 to 11.5 months.
The section called “Case Inquiry Date” is important because the USCIS states if your receipt date is before the Case Inquiry Date you can request an “outside the normal processing time” service request online.
Finding your service center or field office
There’s a couple of ways to find this information.
Your USCIS receipt number will have the service center built into the number. Each number starts with three letters. Those letters indicate the service center handling your application.
In this example, MSC would refer to the Missouri Service Center now known as the National Benefits Center. The other abbreviations are as follows:
EAC – Vermont Service Center
VSC – Vermont Service Center
YSC – Potomac Service Center
IOE – ELIS (E-filing)
MSC – National Benefits Center
NBC – National Benefits Center
TSC – Texas Service Center
SRC – Texas Service Center
NSC – Nebraska Service Center
LIN – Nebraska Service Center
CSC – California Service Center
WAC – California Service Center
Another way to check your service center is to look at the bottom of your I-797, Notice of Action. The service center should be printed on the form.
Here’s an example:
Once you’re ready to go you can visit the USCIS website to check processing times.