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 180 days from the time it receives a complete case record after the initial field review. Some cases may take longer than 180 days 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 2019 Third Quarter Completions (April - June 2019)

Form TypeCase TypeCompleted 0-180 DaysQuarterly Completions
Cumulative of all completions 94.81%1445
I-129CWCNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker100%2
I-129FPetition for Fiancée84.62%13
I-129H1BNonimmigrant Specialty Occupation Worker96.79%468
I-129H3Nonimmigrant Trainee or Special Education Exchange100%1
I-129LNonimmigrant Intracompany Transferee96.30%81
I-129ONonimmigrant Extraordinary Ability Worker80%5
I-129PAthletes, Artists and Entertainers80%5
I-129QNonimmigrant International Cultural Exchange100%1
I-129RNonimmigrant Religious Worker70%10
I-131Application for Travel Document100%4
I-140AAlien with Extraordinary Ability49.28%69
I-140BOutstanding Professor or Researcher71.43%7
I-140CMultinational Manager or Executive100%25
I-140DAdvanced Degree Professional100%24
I-140EProfessional Worker100%14
I-140FSkilled Worker100%9
I-140GOther Worker100%4
I-140INational Interest Waiver92.31%13
I-212Application to Reapply for Admission100%37
I-352Bond Breach99.56%225
I-360CSpecial Immigrant Juvenile100%41
I-360DPetition for Religious Worker50%8
I-360 VAWAViolence Against Women Act Petition100%17
I-485 SEC 13Diplomat100%5
I-485UU Visa Nonimmigrant Adjustment100%85
I-526Alien Entrepreneur79.17%24
I-600Petition for Orphan100%2
I-601Application for Waiver of Inadmissibility97.67%86
I-612Application of 212(e) Waiver100%4
I-821Temporary Protected Status100%53
I-914Application for T Nonimmigrant Status100%12
I-914AApplication for Family Member of T-1 Recipient100%1
I-918Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status100%39
I-924 DenialApplication for Regional Center Designation Application for Regional Center Designation Application for Regional Center Designation Denial of Regional Center Designation100%3
I-924 TerminationTermination of Regional Center Designation100%7
I-929Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Recipient100%3
N-565Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document100%6
N-600Certificate of Citizenship100%31


Last Reviewed/Updated: