Published: December 14, 2011

The Administrative Appeals Office (“AAO”) is a specially designated unit within the Department of Homeland Security/Citizenship and Immigration Service charged with reviewing appeals of various immigration related petitions and applications.  Sometimes the choice of filing an appeal vs. simply re-filing the same application or petition with new evidence depends on a variety of factors, including the time it takes the Administrative Appeals Office to review the original decision and issue their own assessment.  Since processing times at the AAO can be quite prohibitive, re-filing a new petition or application with the office that has already issued a denial, but this time – with new evidence or authority, is indeed a bona fide option for applicants to consider after their initial filing is denied for a legal or factual deficiency.  It should also be noted though, that most every appeal to the AAO will first get reviewed by a supervisor from the unit that originally issued the denial, and if determined to have merit, the appeal will be treated as a request to reopen proceedings and effectuate a reversal, and without the filing ever being sent for AAO review, and subject to AAO processing delays.  The following are current AAO processing times:

AAO Processing Times as of December 1, 2011
Case Type
I – 129F Petition for Fiancée Current
I -129 H1B Nonimmigrant Specialty Occupation Worker 22 Months
I-129 H2 Temporary Nonimmigrant Worker Current
I-129 H3 Temporary Nonimmigrant Worker Current
I-129 L Nonimmigrant Intra-company Transferee 22 Months
I-129 O Nonimmigrant Extraordinary Ability Worker Current
I-129 P1, P2, P3 Athletes, Artists, and Entertainers Current
I-129 Q Cultural Exchange Visitor Current
I-129 R N/I Religious Worker Current
I-131 Application for Travel Document Current
I-140 EB1 (A) – Alien with Extraordinary Ability 16 Months
I-140 EB1 (B) – Outstanding Professor or Researcher 10 Months
I-140 EB1 (C) – Multinational Manager or Executive 21 Months
I-140 EB2 (D) – Advanced Degree 32 Months
I-140 EB2 (I) – National Interet Waiver 12 Months
I-140 EB3 (E) – Skilled or Professional Worker 35 Months
I-140 EB3 (G) – Other Worker Current
I-212 Application to Reapply for Admission Current
I-360 EB4 Petition for Religious Worker 21 Months
I-360 C Special Immigrant Juvenile Current
I-360 VAWA Violence Against Women Act Petition Current
I-485 LIFE Act Adjustment Application Current
I-485 Section 13 Adjustment Application Current
I-485 U U Visa Nonimmigrant                      Adjustment Application Current
I-526 EB5 Alien Entrepeneur Current
I-600 Petition for Orphan Current
I-601 Application for Waiver of Inadmissability 26 Months
I-612 Application for 212(3) Waiver Current
I-687 Legalization Application for Temporary Residence 9 Months
I-690 Legalization/SAW – Waive Ground of Excludability Current
I-698 Legalization Adjustment Application Current
I-700 Special Agricultural Worker Current
I-821 Temporary Protected Status Current
I-905 Application to Issue Certification for Health Care Workers Current
I-914 Application for T Nonimmigrant Status Current
I-918 Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status Current
N-470 Application to Preserve Residence Current
N-565 Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document Current
N-600 Certificate of Citizenship Current
N-643 Certificate of Citizenship for Adopted Child Current

**** “CURRENT” means “within the USCIS processing time goal of six months or less”

Copyright © 2011, By Law Offices of Richard Hanus, Chicago, Illinois