Starting in mid-November, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will change how we calculate processing times for orphan and Hague cases. These changes provide stakeholders better information about the total time it may take to receive a decision on their application or petition and are consistent with an agency-wide shift in how processing times for other cases are calculated. Most importantly, USCIS remains committed to processing intercountry adoption cases as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Starting in mid-November, USCIS website will reflect the following times, which we will update monthly with data from the previous six months:
Some processing times calculated using this new method may appear significantly longer than before. For example, the processing time currently posted for all orphan and Hague adoption cases using the previous cycle time method is 2.5 months. The new 80% completion method includes times where an application or petition is pending due to factors that are generally outside USCIS’ control that impact the total time it may take an applicant or petitioner to receive a decision on their case. For intercountry adoption cases, these factors include the time it takes for an applicant or petitioner to respond to USCIS notices (Requests for Evidence, Notices of Intent to Deny, Notices of Intent to Revoke, etc.) and to provide biometrics. Since March 2020, applicants and petitioners have also had extra time due to agency-wide COVID-19 flexibilities to respond to USCIS notices. For many orphan petitions, another factor that the new method reflects is the time needed for the U.S. Department of State to complete a required Form I-604, Determination on Child for Adoption, before a USCIS decision.
Reporting processing times using this new method, which includes case-processing realities generally outside USCIS’ control, will better prepare and inform all adoption stakeholders of the total time it may take to receive a decision.