http://www.visacoach.com/cr1-visa-timeline.html As of 2018, the answer is 12 to 15 months on average. This is much slower than 2017. I call this the Trump Effect. President Trump after taking office in January 2017 has mandated that USCIS vigorously
enforce and administer immigration laws, take no short cuts. The goal is to restrict Legal immigration while stopping illegal immigration. The result is delays.
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As of 2018, the answer is 12 to 15 months on average, 5 - 7 months USCIS,
5 - 6 months NVC, 2 months Consulate
Two different departments of the US government are involved. USCIS (homeland security) and the Department of State. From Mid 2017 through to 2018 Homeland Security recently is
getting their job done relatively slowly, currently taking 5 to 7 months. (this compares to processing times of a rapid 2 to 3 months just a year ago, and well under the 5 month Policy standard they have set for themselves.
Why is USCIS now taking 2 to 3 times as long? I call this the Trump Effect. President Trump after taking office in January 2017 has mandated that USCIS vigorously enforce and administer immigration laws, take no short cuts. The goal is to restrict Legal immigration while stopping illegal immigration. "We have to get much tougher, much smarter, and less politically correct," Trump said.
What this means is that they are very closely examining and scrutinizing all cases looking for reasons to deny. In addition cases that regularly had their interviews waived now specifically
there is an Executive order that no interviews regardless of the strength of their evidences, may be waived. The result is USCIS has more work to do, has more bases to touch in the processing of EACH case. And while President Trump has promised to hire more staff to handle the increased load, so far no new staff has been hired, but the workload has increased.
This is the Trump Effect. More work, with same staff. The result is that USCIS processing times for spouse visas have stretched to take at least 5 to 7 months. And it is possible this may even get worse, depending on how many new steps USCIS is asked to take, such as "extreme vetting" and "social media data mining" that are new labor intensive steps that have been proposed but not implemented yet.
In addition to the general slow down due to the "Trump Effect" what also affects how long it takes for USCIS to approve your case is a function of how complete your petition is, how busy the processing center is, how current your FBI file is, and a bit of luck.
The most obvious source of added delay is caused by incomplete and sloppy petitions.
When USCIS finds a problem, processing grinds to a halt, and it is stopped until the problem is fixed. Sometimes the errors are so big that they don't bother asking for corrections and simply deny a case outright.
Once USCIS finishes their part, the case is passed to the US Department of State. The Department of State has a processing center in New Hampshire, called the National Visa Center or NVC.
The NVC first contacts your spouse, asking her to confirm a "Choice of Agent". Basically this is to confirm that You are allowed to be copied on correspondences sent to your spouse. It sounds strange as you are the original sponsor of the petition, but I believe this is a privacy issue, that NVC must address. After NVC receives the signed Choice of Agent form. They contact you via email with invoices for adjustment of status, and visa application fees. Once paid, you then then submit a packet of documents to NVC. I call this the "mini petition". This includes the proof of payment of fees, civil documents, financial evidences, etc.
Once NVC is satisfied that all required documents have been presented, it forwards your case on to the American Consulate responsible to issue the visa. And at the same time notifies you and your spouse the date and time your spouse's interview has been scheduled for at the consulate. This is usually about 2 months later.The Approval/Denial decision is made during the interview. This is where the higher VisaCoach standard, for crafting "front loaded presentations" wins the day.