How Long Does It Take To Get A Green Card (And Why)?

Exact Time: Up to 3 Years

You can’t expect a green card in your hands just in a few hours or overnight. Applying for a green card and the whole process take some time. The time required for the whole process of a green card may vary according to many factors. A family-based green card may come in your hand within 3 years.

The whole process takes time, as there are many formalities and procedures to be followed. There are many ways to get your green card. You can get it through family relationships and employment. The time format for getting the green card in each case varies.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Green Card?

Who is applying for a green cardTime for getting a green card
Spouses of United States CitizensUp to 17 months
Spouses of green cardholders in the United StatesUp to 38 months
Widows of citizens of United StatesUp to 13 months
Parents of citizens of the United StatesUp to 13 months
Children under 21 years (minor) of United States citizensUp to 13 months
Children under 21 years (minor) of green cardholdersUp to 38 months
Adult unmarried children of United States citizensUp to 8 years
Adult unmarried children of green cardholdersUp to 9 years
Married adult children of United States citizens Up to 14 years
Siblings of citizens of United StatesUp to 16 years

The timing process for getting the family-based green card will be up to 3 years. There are some steps that are followed to get your green card. These steps include:

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  • Petition for Alien Relative (you have to fill the form).
  • Application for adjustment of status (form to be filled, if the beneficiary belongs to the United States ).
  • Immigrant visa application (If the beneficiary is outside the United States).

You have to wait for months after you file the form for a family relationship. It takes up to 36 months to get a green card. The process from filing the form to applying for the card (green card) is quite lengthy. There are many categories that will have less or more expected time for getting a green card. The process for a green card is not equal for all people with different conditions. If your spouse is put up in the United States.

Then it would take up to 17 months to get a green card. Similarly, the parents of citizens of the United States can get green cards within 13 months. The timeline for getting a green card is different for countries. If the complete timeline for siblings of United States citizens is 16 years, then for India, it is above 16 years. The starting and finishing timeline varies, as the rules are different for each country.

Why Does It Take That Long To Get A Green Card?

There are some constraints and limits for how many people can come to the United States every year. These limits are mainly for the people who are coming under the family-based green card criteria system. Categories such as spouses, children (minor), and parents come under the exceptional category under the family-based green card system.

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The whole process takes time, as there are many formalities to be fulfilled. The steps to reach the final approval stage takes time and effort, as it has many guidelines. The green card availability process for some countries such as India, Mexico, China, and the Philippines is longer than other countries. The process of a green card starts by applying for it then you will get asylum.

Before you submit another application (adjustment of status), the person has to wait for one more complete year. After some months, USCIS will schedule an interview. Once, the interview is completed, then wait for the ultimate decision. People applying under the employer or family-based category should go for the petition filing in the process.

Waiting is a very common consequence at every step in the green card process. Some people may have to wait for more time if any extra documents are asked for. If the government gets backlogged, then it will be another reason for the delay.

Conclusion

The green card process contains many steps and processes. From proper document submission to final approval involves many other steps. This multiple-step process is difficult if you can’t wait for a longer time. The process is more than 10 years for many categories. People falling under the category of parents, widows, and minor children may expect green cards a little earlier.

There are many other factors, such as visa limits and bureaucracy, which add more time to the green card approval. There are some possible chances of getting a green card immediately. There is a chance if the person is the spouse of a permanent resident of the United States, then the person may get a green card early.

This is because the permanent resident of the United States becomes a citizen of the United States. Similarly, the spouse becomes the immediate relative of the citizen. Getting a green card would be easy if you can have patience with all the steps of the green card approval.

References

  1. https://read.dukeupress.edu/demography/article-abstract/49/1/219/169700
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Mx2TDAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=How+Long+Does+It+Take+To+Get+A+Green+Card+(And+Why)%3F&ots=q5RdHgeqCu&sig=3l_zySFX8I5hKeBOoVg-Ggk7DBs

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