How long will it take to get an immigrant visa for my husband or wife?

How long will it take to get an immigrant visa for my husband or wife?I-130 Petition Approval Time

The expected waiting time for the approval of an I-130 for a spouse of a United States citizen is five months. The waiting time for an I-130 for a spouse of a permanent resident is often longer. This processing time could go faster or slower depending on how many applications USCIS receives. In addition, if your application is not complete or not organized in a way that makes it easy for the immigration officer to review, you may receive a request for evidence (RFE) asking you for additional information. An RFE will slow down the approval process. Therefore it is very important that you include all of the required information in a well-organized fashion in your initial submission.

National Visa Center Processing Time

If you are a United States citizen, the I-130 petition will be forwarded to the National Visa Center after it is approved. If you are a permanent resident, however, you will not be able to begin the processing at the National Visa Center until a visa number becomes available. The Visa Bulletin is updated monthly and can provide you with an estimate of when a visa number will become available.

The amount of time that your package spends at the National Visa Center will depend largely on how quickly you can obtain and submit the required documents. After all of the documents are received by the National Visa Center, an immigrant visa interview will be scheduled.

Immigrant Visa Interview Waiting Time

The time it takes to receive an interview will largely depend on which embassy or consulate the interview will be at. Some locations have a larger backlog and it will take longer to receive an appointment at those locations. You should expect to wait at least one month for your scheduled interview date, and it may be a considerably longer wait.

Total Time To Receive An Immigrant Visa

Overall, you should expect that it will take between 8 months to one year to receive an immigrant visa based on marriage to a United States citizen, and it may take over a year. The wait could be considerably longer if you receive a request for evidence or you have difficulty in obtaining the required documents. Spouses of permanent residents will typically have an even longer wait because they must wait for an immigrant visa number to become available.

About Kimberley Schaefer

Kimberley Schaefer is an immigration lawyer with offices in Boise, ID and Rexburg, Idaho. She helps future Americans become citizens by assisting them with immigrant visas, fiance visas, adjustment of status and green card applications, applying for immigration waivers, fighting deportation and applying for asylum. To contact her, you can call (208) 918-0852 or send Kimberley an email now.


  1. Dear Ms. Schaefer,
    I am a Malaysian who is engaged to a citizen of the USA living in Richmond, VA. We are planning to marry soon but I am concerned about how I can obtain a spouse visa? He has informed me that it is better to go there and wait for 60 days to marry but I would prefer to register the marriage here and apply from Malaysia since I am very concerned that I do things properly. Could you assist me and what are your fees? Thank you

  2. I am a USA citizen and I have finished a all process to make my wife from Kenya to join me. About 3 days ago NVC told me to wait until they inform me the day of interview. How long do you think it will take? Are citizen given first priority?

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