USCIS Processing Times 2023 For Green Cards, EAD Cards (Work Permits), Asylum Revealed

As an immigrant living in the United States and yet to obtain permanent residency or citizenship, you’re probably concerned about the recent delays in processing immigration paperwork such as green cards and work permits. This can be stressful, especially when you can’t access certain services or opportunities due to your current immigration status. For this reason, this article covers everything you need to know about USCIS processing times 2023 and what to do to increase your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome from the government agency.

Key Takeaways

  • Green card petitions for Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 are being processed much faster in 2023 (3.4 months compared to the 5.4 months processing time for 2022).
  • In general, we have noticed approximately a two-month increase in processing times for most green card categories in 2023.
  • Green card petitions for Refugee/Asylee Relatives have witnessed one of the highest improvements in processing times, from 28.6 months in 2022 to around 14.1 months in 2023.
  • The USCIS has also improved its processing time for work permits in 2023 to 3.6 months, up from 4.1 months in 2022.
  • Contact The Law Office of Serah Waweru to schedule a consultation if you have more questions about the processing times of your particular petition.

What’s The USCIS Processing Times 2023 For Green Cards?

The USCIS calculates processing times based on Fiscal Years (FY), which begin on October 1 of the previous year and end on September 30 of the year in question. For example, Fiscal Year 2023 starts from October 1, 2023, and ends on September 30, 2023. 

Here’s a quick look at the various processing times for green card applications in 2023.

Form I-130: Petition for Alien Relative

This is the form filed by a US Citizen or permanent resident (LPR) to establish their relationship with an eligible relative who wants to come to or remain in the US as a Permanent Resident (green card holder).
The average processing time for Form I-130 in 2023 is 12.5 months. This is slightly slower than the previous year; the average processing time for Form I-130 in 2022 was 10.3 months.

Form I-485: Application for Adjustment of Status

Form I-485 is filed by eligible individuals living in the United States who wish to become permanent residents. Now, let’s look at the processing times for different eligibility categories for this petition.

Form I-485 For Granted Asylum

If you were granted asylum in the United States more than a year ago, the processing time for Form I-485 in 2023 is 21.1 months.

Form I-485 For Refugee Admission

If you were admitted into the United States as a refugee more than a year ago, the processing time for Form I-485 for refugees in 2023 is 18.8 months.

Form I-485 For Employment-Based Petitions

If you’d like to adjust your status based on employment-based reasons, the processing time in 2023 is 10.1 months.

Form I-485 Based on Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 (CAA)

If you intend to apply for permanent residency based on your eligibility under the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966, the processing time for such a petition in 2023 is 3.4 months.
Form I-485 For All Other Adjustment of Status

For all other adjustments of status petitions, the processing time is around 7 months.

Form I-730 Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition

Suppose you have been granted asylum or refugee status in the United States. In that case, you can file a petition to have eligible beneficiaries, such as your spouse and unmarried children, join you in the United States. The USCIS processing time for Form I-730 in 2023 is 14.1 months. 

EAD Processing Time 2023

The EAD renewal processing time for 2023 varies depending on the type of application filed. For example, the USCIS recently revealed that they will expedite work permits for healthcare workers. Read more about it here.

That said, in 2023, the average processing time for work permits is 3.6 months, down from 4.1 months in 2022.

Common Reasons For USCIS Denial

The USCIS receives thousands of petitions every year. But the truth is, some of these petitions are usually denied. For example, in 2018 alone, the USCIS received around 835,972 petitions for alien relatives, 52,868 of which were denied. 

This explains why it’s important to understand some of the common reasons for the denial and avoid such mistakes when filing your petition with the USCIS.


The USCIS may reject your petition if you have certain infectious diseases or fail to provide proof of certain vaccinations. Also, the petition may be denied if you are a drug addict or abuser or suffer from a mental disorder that could harm you or others.

Criminal History

Your petition may be denied if you have been convicted of certain crimes or you intend to commit such crimes when you come to the US. Examples of these crimes include drug trafficking, money laundering, prostitution, etc.

Security Related 

Your petition will most likely be denied if you are a threat to US security or participated in the Nazi or totalitarian regimes. This includes genocides or any group adverse to US foreign policy. 

Financial Reasons

If the USCIS believes you will be a financial burden to the government, your petition will most likely be rejected. However, you can prevent this by having someone sign an affidavit of support on your behalf. 

Immigration Violations

Your petition may be denied if you violated US immigration laws. For example, if you gained entry into the country by misrepresentation, abused the visa process, failed to attend immigration removal proceedings, among other violations. 

Ineligibility Reasons

The USCIS may reject your petition if you do not meet the eligibility requirements for that specific petition.  

How Accurate Are USCIS Processing Times 2023?

USCIS processing times are quite accurate but are subject to change without prior notice. For example, the USCIS processing times I-130 may be influenced by an error on the petitioner’s side or even the USCIS themselves. Contacting a licensed and competent immigration attorney like Serah Waweru and her team can help you understand the average processing time for your specific petition, giving you peace of mind. 

Why Have USCIS Processing Times 2023 Increased?

USCIS processing times have increased for many reasons, mainly due to the recent Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, the number of applications has also increased in recent years, making it even more difficult for the government agency to keep up with their deadlines for processing applications. 

How an Immigration Attorney Can Help

Understandably, it can be frustrating when your petition is denied, especially if you meet the eligibility requirements set by the USCIS. One of the most common reasons for such denials is failure to follow USCIS rules and regulations when submitting your petition. For example, using the wrong form or not providing the correct information or documentation could lead to denial. 

That’s where the importance of hiring an immigration attorney comes in. An experienced immigration attorney like Serah Waweru and her team can help review your application, making sure it meets all the requirements set by the USCIS before filing the petition. This not only minimizes the chances of denial but also gives you much-needed peace of mind knowing that your petition is being handled by a professional.

Secondly, an immigration attorney can help follow up on your petition with the USCIS while keeping you updated in the process. This means you won’t have to spend long hours on the phone trying to get a hold of immigration officials – an attorney can do all that for you as you focus on your other responsibilities in your day-to-day life. 

Most importantly, an immigration attorney can give you essential advice regarding your petition, saving you time, money, and frustration. 

More Questions About USCIS Processing Times 2023?

If you have any questions about your immigration petition and USCIS processing times 2023, please fill out the case evaluation form below to schedule a consultation with the attorney.


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