Disclaimer: Please note that all the processing time data presented in this blog post are directly sourced from the USCIS Case Processing Times website every month. Our team manually checks the data to ensure its accuracy. However, we encourage our readers to always cross-reference the information with the official USCIS website for the most up-to-date processing times.


The I-918 form, also known as the Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status, is a crucial document for victims of qualifying criminal activities who are seeking temporary immigration benefits in the United States. Understanding the I-918 processing time is essential for applicants as it provides an idea of how long they can expect to wait before receiving a decision on their case. This article will discuss eligibility requirements, factors affecting processing times, current average processing times, and steps applicants can take to expedite their cases.

Eligibility for Filing an I-918 Form

To be eligible for filing an I-918 form, applicants must meet certain requirements. These include being a victim of a qualifying criminal activity that occurred in the United States or violated U.S. laws and having suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result. Additionally, applicants must possess credible and reliable information about the crime and be willing to assist law enforcement agencies in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity.

Before applying for U nonimmigrant status (U visa), it’s essential to consult with a qualified immigration attorney who can help determine your eligibility and guide you through the application process.

Factors Affecting the I-918 Processing Time

Several factors can influence how long it takes USCIS to process an I-918 form:

1. USCIS workload and backlog: The number of applications submitted to USCIS at any given time may affect how quickly they are able to process each case.

2. Completeness and accuracy of submitted documentation: Applications that are complete with all required documentation typically have shorter processing times than those with missing or inaccurate information.

3. Availability of U visa slots per fiscal year: The U.S government limits the number of granted U visas each year; if this limit has already been reached, your application may take longer to process.

4. Individual case complexities: Each case is unique, and certain complexities can result in longer processing times.

Current Average Processing Times for the I-918 Form

Here is most recent I-918 Form processing time from USCIS website:

CategoryOffice80% of cases are completed within
Petition for a noncitizen who is a victim of qualifying criminal activity, and their qualifying family members (Time from Initial Filing to Bona Fide Determination (BFD) Review)Nebraska Service Center60 Months
Petition for a noncitizen who is a victim of qualifying criminal activity, and their qualifying family members (Time from Initial Filing to Bona Fide Determination (BFD) Review)Vermont Service Center62 Months

Steps Applicants Can Take to Possibly Expedite Their Case

To potentially shorten the I-918 processing time, applicants should:

1. Ensure submission of complete and accurate applications: Double-check that all required documentation is submitted with your application.

2. Follow up on requests for additional evidence promptly: Responding quickly to any requests from USCIS can help expedite your case.

3. Explore options such as expedited processing or humanitarian parole: In certain situations, applicants may be eligible to request expedited processing or humanitarian parole if they are facing extenuating circumstances.

What to Expect After Submitting an I-918 Form

After submitting an I-918 form, applicants can expect:

1. A receipt notice from USCIS acknowledging their application
2. Possible requests for additional evidence or biometrics appointments
3. A decision on deferred action status and work authorization (if applicable)

Preparing for Life with U Nonimmigrant Status

While awaiting a decision on their case, applicants should:

1. Understand the limitations and benefits of U visa status: This includes knowing what rights you have while living in the United States under this status.
2. Adjust to life in the United States: Seek out resources and support networks within your community.
3. Explore options for family members: Look into possibilities for bringing qualifying family members to join you in the United States.


The I-918 processing time can vary greatly based on numerous factors; however, by following best practices and remaining patient throughout the process, applicants will be better prepared for life with U nonimmigrant status. Consult with an immigration attorney to ensure that you are taking all necessary steps to expedite your case and achieve the best possible outcome.

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