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 – 129FPetition for FiancéeCurrent
I -129 H1BNonimmigrant Specialty Occupation Worker22 Months
I-129 H2Temporary Nonimmigrant WorkerCurrent
I-129 H3Temporary Nonimmigrant WorkerCurrent
I-129 LNonimmigrant Intra-company Transferee22 Months
I-129 ONonimmigrant Extraordinary Ability WorkerCurrent
I-129 P1, P2, P3Athletes, Artists, and EntertainersCurrent
I-129 QCultural Exchange VisitorCurrent
I-129 RN/I Religious WorkerCurrent
I-131Application for Travel DocumentCurrent
I-140 EB1(A) – Alien with Extraordinary Ability16 Months
I-140 EB1(B) – Outstanding Professor or Researcher10 Months
I-140 EB1(C) – Multinational Manager or Executive21 Months
I-140 EB2(D) – Advanced Degree32 Months
I-140 EB2(I) – National Interet Waiver12 Months
I-140 EB3(E) – Skilled or Professional Worker35 Months
I-140 EB3(G) – Other WorkerCurrent
I-212Application to Reapply for AdmissionCurrent
I-360 EB4Petition for Religious Worker21 Months
I-360 CSpecial Immigrant JuvenileCurrent
I-360 VAWAViolence Against Women Act PetitionCurrent
I-485LIFE Act Adjustment ApplicationCurrent
I-485Section 13 Adjustment ApplicationCurrent
I-485 UU Visa Nonimmigrant                      Adjustment ApplicationCurrent
I-526 EB5Alien EntrepeneurCurrent
I-600Petition for OrphanCurrent
I-601Application for Waiver of Inadmissability26 Months
I-612Application for 212(3) WaiverCurrent
I-687Legalization Application for Temporary Residence9 Months
I-690Legalization/SAW – Waive Ground of ExcludabilityCurrent
I-698Legalization Adjustment ApplicationCurrent
I-700Special Agricultural WorkerCurrent
I-821Temporary Protected StatusCurrent
I-905Application to Issue Certification for Health Care WorkersCurrent
I-914Application for T Nonimmigrant StatusCurrent
I-918Petition for U Nonimmigrant StatusCurrent
N-470Application to Preserve ResidenceCurrent
N-565Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship DocumentCurrent
N-600Certificate of CitizenshipCurrent
N-643Certificate of Citizenship for Adopted ChildCurrent

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

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