Navigating the complex world of U.S. immigration can be daunting, but understanding the process and timelines involved can help alleviate much of the stress. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss the USCIS processing times at the Des Moines IA Field Office across various applications, including I-485, N-400, and N-600, and provide tips on how to ensure your application is processed as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Brief Overview of the Des Moines IA Field Office and Its Role

The Des Moines IA Field Office is responsible for processing various immigration applications and petitions in the state of Iowa. It plays a crucial role in managing family-based adjustment applications, employment-based adjustment applications, naturalization applications, and applications for recognition of U.S. citizenship.

Importance of Understanding Processing Times

Knowing the processing times of various applications is important, as it helps applicants set realistic expectations, plan their lives accordingly, and prepare any supporting documentation or requirements in a timely manner.

The Process at the Des Moines IA Field Office

The process at the Des Moines IA Field Office involves multiple stages, including:

  1. Submission of the application, along with any required supporting documents and fees.
  2. Receipt of confirmation and case number from USCIS.
  3. For some applications, USCIS may request additional information (Request for Evidence) to support the application.
  4. If an Application for Naturalization (N-400) is submitted, the applicant will need to complete a biometrics appointment, interview, and naturalization test.
  5. For spousal applications, an expeditious naturalization process may be available.
  6. Once all stages are complete, the applicant will receive a decision from USCIS.

Average Processing Times at the Des Moines IA Field Office

Processing times may vary depending on the application type. Given recent data, the average processing times at the Des Moines IA Field Office are as follows:

FormCategoryOffice80% of cases are completed within
I-485Employment-based adjustment applicationsDes Moines IA11.5 Months
I-485Family-based adjustment applicationsDes Moines IA16.5 Months
N-400Application for NaturalizationDes Moines IA9.5 Months
N-600Application for recognition of U.S. citizenshipDes Moines IA7 Months

Factors Influencing Processing Times

Processing times are subject to multiple factors, including:

  • The volume of applications received by USCIS
  • Staffing and resource availability
  • The complexity of individual cases
  • The responsiveness of applicants when providing supplemental information
  • The office’s prioritization of certain application types

These factors can all impact processing times at the Des Moines IA Field Office.

How to Navigate the Process

To navigate the process at the Des Moines IA Field Office, consider the following tips:

  1. Utilize guidance and resources to ensure completeness and accuracy in your application.
  2. Be proactive in gathering and submitting any required documentation.
  3. Respond to any Request for Evidence promptly and thoroughly.
  4. Stay informed about the latest developments in immigration law and policy.
  5. Seek assistance from a qualified immigration attorney if needed.

How to Ensure Your Application is Processed as Quickly as Possible

To expedite your application process, consider the following:

  1. Double-check your paperwork to minimize errors, omissions, or incomplete information.
  2. Monitor your case status online and follow up on any outstanding issues.
  3. Be diligent about keeping all supporting documents up to date.
  4. Fulfill all USCIS requirements and deadlines.

If your application has been experiencing excessive delays, filing a mandamus lawsuit may be an option to compel USCIS to make a decision on your case.


Understanding the USCIS processing times at the Des Moines IA Field Office and learning how to navigate the process can greatly help ease your immigration journey. By implementing the tips and advice provided in this comprehensive guide, you’ll be better equipped to manage your application and take the next steps toward your future in the United States. Have you had a personal experience with USCIS processing times in Des Moines? If so, we encourage you to share your story or ask any further questions you may have.

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