The processing time of Petition for Alien Relative can vary significantly depending on the relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary. So how long will it take for the Form I-130 petition to be approved depends on whether the beneficiary is an immediate relative or a family preference category.
Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens (holders of visa categories IR-1 — IR-5) usually get approval on Form I-130 within approximately 5-9 months. As for the family preference categories (holders of visa categories F1 — F4), the process may take from 6 months to several years.
For a more detailed information regarding time frames please see our article “What happens after filing Form I-130”.