AAO Processing Times

In January 2017, the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) modified how it presents processing time information. Previously, the AAO reported, by form type, the average completion time for the month’s cases. But certain scenarios (such as a month with few completions in certain categories) could result in an imprecise portrayal of processing times. The AAO will now provide, by form type, the total number of completions for the quarter and the percentage completed within 180 days, which is our goal. The AAO believes this change affords stakeholders more valuable information on our processing times.

The administrative appeals process has two stages: initial field review and AAO appellate review.

Initial field review: The office that issued the unfavorable decision has 45 days to evaluate the appeal and determine whether to take favorable action on the appeal. If that office does not take favorable action, it will forward the appeal to the AAO and send the appellant a Notice of Transfer to the AAO.

AAO appellate review: The AAO strives to complete its appellate review within 6 months from the time it receives a complete case record after the initial field review. Some cases may take longer than 6 months due to factors beyond the AAO’s control. For example, additional documentation may be needed to complete the record, or the case may be more complex and require additional review.

The following chart shows the percentage of cases the AAO completed within 180 days, by case category, during the most recent quarter of the fiscal year. These data include all AAO dispositions for the listed form types. If a case category is not listed, the AAO issued no appeal decisions for that category in the most recent quarter.

Timeliness of Fiscal Year 2017 First Quarter Completions (October-December 2016)

Form TypeCase TypeCompleted 0-180 DaysQuarterly Completions
Cumulative of all completions 86%1,338
I-129CWCNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker100%6
I-129ETreaty Trader or Investor100%1
I-129FPetition for Fiancée100%78
I-129H1BNonimmigrant Specialty Occupation Worker100%164
I-129H2Temporary Nonimmigrant Worker100%38
I-129LNonimmigrant Intracompany Transferee100%84
I-129ONonimmigrant Extraordinary Ability Worker100%9
I-129PAthletes, Artists and Entertainers100%9
I-129QCultural Exchange Worker100%4
I-129RNonimmigrant Religious Worker100%18
I-131Application for Travel Document100%7
I-140AAlien with Extraordinary Ability100%27
I-140BOutstanding Professor or Researcher100%3
I-140CMultinational Manager or Executive97%36
I-140DAdvanced Degree Professional85%34
I-140E Professional Worker88%17
I-140FSkilled Worker87%15
I-140GOther Worker100%7
I-140INational Interest Waiver90%21
I-212Application to Reapply for Admission71%24
I-352Bond Breach63%8
I-360CSpecial Immigrant Juvenile98%49
I-360DPetition for Religious Worker88%17
I-360IViolence Against Women Act Petition96%111
I-485 DplmtSection 13 Adjustment Application100%3
I-485UU Visa Nonimmigrant Adjustment100%28
I-526Alien Entrepreneur97%31
I-600Petition for Orphan100%4
I-601Application for Waiver of Inadmissibility52%185
I-612Application for 212(e) Waiver100%1
I-821Temporary Protected Status59%108
I-914Application for T Nonimmigrant Status100%5
I-918Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status100%133
I-924Application for Regional Center100%1
I-929Qualifying Family Member of a U Nonimmigrant100%1
N-565Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document100%6
N-600Certificate of Citizenship49%45


Last Reviewed/Updated: