Why is my case held for background checks? How long will the background checks take?

Each applicant is subject to background checks. The background checks are performed by various government agencies and their processing is beyond the control of the USCIS. As such, it is difficult to predict how long the background checks will take. The USCIS requires that the FBI fingerprint check and Interagency Border Inspection Services (IBIS) check be completed and resolved favorable before it can take further action on a case. If those two checks are complete and favorably resolve and the only remaining item is the FBI name check, the current USCIS policy allows the agency to approve the application if it is otherwise approvable, is outside of the normal USCIS processing times and the FBI name check request has been pending for more than 180 days. In the event that adverse information from the FBI name check is received after approval, the USCIS may detain the individual and initiate removal proceedings.