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How Long Is the Process to Receive a U.S. Visa?

U.S. green card and social security

One of the most common questions that visa applicants ask is how long it will take them to receive a U.S. visa. However, the visa processing time highly depends on the type of visa you apply for. Our Orange County immigration attorneys have put together all the information you need to know about U.S. visa wait times.

When Will I Receive My U.S. Visa?

It’s difficult to estimate how long an application takes to get reviewed since the United States considers every applicant on a case-by-case basis. For example, it may take only a few weeks for an applicant to receive a response for their tourist visa application, while it can take months for an employment visa applicant.

In most cases, temporary nonimmigrant visas might take a few weeks or months to get back to you with a response. However, immigrant visas (applying for a green card) can take years to get approved.

Below are some of the average processing times for common U.S. employment visas:

  • E-1 Visas: The processing time is often two to four weeks. It typically depends on the caseload of the U.S. Embassy or the USCIS.
  • E-2 Visas: The processing time is often four to six weeks. It often depends on the caseload of the U.S. Embassy or the USCIS. If you don’t hear back within that time, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your visa was denied.
  • H-1B Visas: The average time to hear back from an H-1B visa is three to six months. The processing time can vary, so you might want to check the U.S. State Department or USCIS for updates.
  • L-1 Visas: An L-1 visa is typically three to four months. Applicants do have the option to request rapid processing times to receive a response within one to three weeks.
  • O-Visas: The waiting period for an O-visa takes about two to three months for a response. There is a speed up process option for applications at an extra fee.

If you need legal guidance with your visa application process, our Orange County immigration attorneys are here to help you. Contact us today at (949) 478-4963 to schedule a consultation!


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