Q. I know they quote anywhere between 8-18 months for the entire independent applicant process, but does anyone have an idea, in reality how much time a visa office actually spends processing one file? If the Filing-AOR is any guideline, and knowing a little about what they do in that time frame (which is just to check if you have included all the necessary documents and fee) I would say it would take someone the maximum of 2 hours on one file, and for that the duration is normally 3 months. So that would mean further processing takes about roughly 5-8 hours?
Answer: It is not necessarily the case that the delays at any given visa office are correlated directly with the number of man-hours that are required to process a file. In fact, the greatest delays are associated with the interview backlog; the queue of cases waiting for scheduled selection interviews. During this time, very few such hours are devoted to the case.
In addition, there are the portions of processing, such as medical and security/background clearance which take place outside of the visa office.