I lodged a petition for my sister in May. After that, I received a letter from USCIS, which was issued on May 29, 2013. Now if I check my status with the receipt number, it shows my file is in Initial Review.
My Questions are:
1. How much time usually it takes to approve the petition? (I'm not talking about the Final Visa or Green Card)
2. Will I receive any other letter asking me to provide more documents before they approve the petition?
The answer to your first question is: no one really knows. Since a visa is not immediately available for your category, USCIS could theoretically take years to approve the petition. Right now, the Vermont Service Center is processing I-130 petitions for brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens from December, 2010. The answer to your second question is: it depends on what you submitted. If USCIS is missing or needs more information, they will send you a request for evidence. Make sure you keep USCIS updated with any change in address. It might also be a good idea to create an account at uscis.gov so you can receive email notifications about things happening with your petition. That way, if something gets lost in the mail, or if you move, you will still receive an email notification from USCIS. Good luck.
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Estimated processing times are always as posted on the USCIS website.
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Criminal Defense Attorney
I agree with my colleague. It can take anywhere from 3 months to years.
In terms of the Request Further Evidence letter, depends on how satisfied the USCIS officers are with your submitted documents. If they feel they were enough to prove your citizenship and relationship with your siblings, they will not send RFE letters.
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