After the petition is filed, USCIS will issue a receipt confirming that the package is received and pending. The receipt will contain a unique number, with which you can track the processing of your case. However, lately, USCIS has been very ineffective in updating case statuses online. As such, the online case process information is often false or misleading.
Unfortunately, the current USCIS processing times are also not promising. In the past, USCIS was posting a specific estimated processing time for each type of case. It constantly updated such information based on the current workload.
Now, USCIS posts a range of estimated time during which they think the case could be processed. These time estimates may be unrealistic. They may do this to minimize inquiries or avoid having to do constant updates. Maybe they just don’t know. Therefore, current processing time information is not useful and often misleading.
To better estimate processing times, it is best to consult a qualified immigration attorney. They are in a better position to know as they frequently handle these types of cases.
If your I-130 petition is approved, his/her case will be transferred to the National Visa Center (NVC). This is for petitions where your parent is outside the US. NVC will then collect fees, supporting documents, and an online immigrant visa application (Form DS-260).
During NVC processing, you will need to provide financial information to show you can financially support your parents. If your income is insufficient, you may need to find a co-sponsor. Your parents will also need to provide police certificates from all countries where they resided for a year or more.
Your parents will then be notified to go to the local US consulate for an interview to complete visa processing. Your parents will need to undergo a medical examination. They may also need to provide additional documents depending on their case and on the country where they live.
If your parent is currently in the US, there are certain advantages: He/she may be eligible to file an Application to Register Permanent Residence. He/she may also be eligible to Adjust Status (Form I-485), at the same time as you file Form I-130. Your parent can also file for work-permit and travel-authorization at the same time.