Slow. The government is moving slow. That is the pattern that is emerging in the first half of 2017. Applications that moved quickly in the past are now taking longer, and USCIS keeps moving applications from one location to another one to balance its workloads.
The government can only issue 10,000 U visas every year. This means that there is a waitlist to be granted this type of visa. If the government believes an applicant’s submission is approvable, it can grant that person “deferred action” ahead of time, and allow them to get a work permit.