How Long Does the Green Card Process Take on Average?
Applying for a green card is a lengthy process that many individuals undertake in order to be awarded permanent residency in the United States. After you’ve completed all of your required forms and submitted them along with any associated fee, you are likely wondering how long it will take for your application to be processed and for you to receive results. Our article helps you understand the general processing times for green card applications and the factors that might affect this processing time.
There are two main methods to obtain your green card based on your physical location; the adjustment of status application and the consular processing application. Fees for these applications vary based on individual situations and any supplemental forms required alongside the main green card documents of Form I-130, Form I-485, and Form I-864.
Individuals applying for a green card inside of the United States apply for the adjustment of status green card directly through United States Citizen and Immigration Services, while those outside of the United States will apply for consular processing via the U.S. Department of State consulate in their country.
How Long Does It Take To Get a Green Card?
Average processing times for green cards vary, though it is safe to say you might be waiting at least a year for your green card application to be processed. In the past few years, the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down processing and extended wait times for a green card application, but, as of 2023, processing times seem to be getting back to normal.
You may want to review historical wait times for USCIS processing to get a sense of the average time it might take for your green card application to be processed.
How Long Does an Adjustment of Status Green Card Take?
On average (as of January 2023), a family-based adjustment of status green card application will take between 20 and 32 months, with times varying based on any additional forms and the service center that is processing your application.
Employment-based adjustment of status processing times will typically be a little faster, but wait times still average between 19 and 25 months dependent on any special circumstances and the service center processing your application.
You should note that the USCIS does have an annual limit on both family-based and employment-based adjustment of status green card applications. If the limit is reached before your application is processed, you may need to wait another few months to a few years for the completion of the process.
How Long Does a Consular Processing Green Card Take?
Consular processing green card applications are those that are applied for by individuals outside of the United States. Most of the time, these are applied for due to employment offers. The average processing time for a consular processing green card ranges between 5 and 13 months, as of January 2023.
These wait times vary based on any supplemental forms required with your application, the volumes of applications the U.S. Department of State consulate has received, and certain special circumstances.
Can I Check Green Card Processing Times?
It’s possible to check the average processing times for certain USCIS forms through the tool located on their website. This tool will allow you to input the forms you have filed and take note of the average processing time that approximately 80 percent of cases have been completed in. You can also input the service center you are using and access other helpful resources to help you understand more about USCIS processing times.
Inquiring About Cases Outside of Normal Processing Time
In some cases, your green card application may still be processing much longer after the average expected time. If this happens to you, it is possible to make an inquiry through the USCIS about your application.
To do this, read more about case processing times on the USCIS website and then submit a case inquiry. You will be asked for your A-number, the receipt number that was given upon submission of your application, and the date when your application was filed.
Is It Possible to Expedite the Green Card Process?
Unfortunately, there is no way to expedite the process of your green card application. Forms and petitions are processed in the order they are received and both the USCIS and the U.S. Department of State adhere to regulations about how many green cards are issued each year.
You can help ensure everything goes smoothly with your applications and that the process is as fast as possible by filling out all forms correctly and staying informed about each step of your green card process.
Obtaining a Certified Translation for Your Green Card Application
A major part of ensuring your green card application is processed smoothly and without issues that slow it down is making sure that all of your important required documents are accurate and translated into English. This is especially important if you are applying from overseas and have multiple important documents that are not in English including:
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A certified translation is a word-for-word translation required for official use by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), universities, colleges, state or federal institutions and courts.
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The price for a certified translation is $29.00 per page. No hidden fees. Each page may contain up to 250 words or fewer including numbers. Pages may be letter size (8.5″ x 11″), A4 or smaller and one sided. For languages that use logograms, such as Chinese, Korean and Japanese, each character is considered a word.
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Each page may contain up to 250 words. Pages may be letter size (8.5″ x 11″), A4 or smaller and one sided.
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