Exact Answer: Up to 1 Year
Green Card or GC, also known as Permanent Residence or PR, allows an immigrant to live and work permanently in the United States. The Green Card is offered under various categories i.e. for employment-based immigrants, family preference immigrants and immediate relatives of US Citizens. The applicant can apply for a GC under one of these categories.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) of the Department of Homeland Security, United State of America, issues the Green Card to the eligible applicants. The whole process is quite long, and the department can take months to process the applications.
How Long to Get GC After PD Is Current?
|7-10 days after filling I-485 form||Receive receipt of the I-485 form|
|2 to 6 weeks after filling I-485 form||Biometrics appointment|
|6 months to 1 year after biometrics appointment||Interview appointment|
A ‘current’ designation for Priority Date or PD means that an immigrant visa is available to all the applicants who have received it. After the PD is current, the next step is to fill the form I-485 to the USICS.
7-10 days after filling the form, the applicant receives a receipt of the I-485 form in their mail.
Within the next 2 to 6 weeks the applicant receives another mail which is for the biometrics appointment. This appointment can be rescheduled, but this only delays the process.
The applicant has to now wait for 6 months to 1 year to receive an interview appointment. This appointment can also be rescheduled, but it only delays the process.
If the interview is successful, the I-485 form is approved, the applicant receives a stamp on his/her passport, indicating the change of status from a regular visa holder to an immigrant visa holder or Green Card holder.
The applicant is now an official Green Card holder and receives a physical copy of the Green Card via., mail in a week or so.
The biometric appointment is waived off if the applicant has already submitted biometrics in the previous applications. In recent times some applications have even seen interview appointment waivers. So, some applicants who got both the waivers have received their Green Card after the Priority Date is ‘current’ in 2 to 3 months.
If the applicant is not residing in the United States when their PD is current, they can undergo a different process to attain a Green Card. The applicant can make an appointment in the U.S. embassy of their home country, where an officer examines the application. If approved, an immigrant visa is issued, and the applicant receives a PR on entering the country.
Why Does It Take So Long to Get GC After PD Is Current?
After the PD is current, filling in the I-485 form with the USICS department can take some time.
The biometrics appointment and the interview appointment can itself take up to 2 to 3 months and 6 months to 1 year respectively.
Apart from this, the USICS department undertakes several security checks to ensure that the application is not suspicious.
If the applicant is lucky and their priority date is current, they may get the Green Card within 2 to 3 months. Or else, it could take up to a year to get the Green Card after the priority date is current.
The delay in processing time is basically because the USICS office has a huge backlog. A flood of I-485 applications are pending and hence it takes a long time to process the applications.
New application every year only adds to the situation.
The application processing time varies from case to case. A few applicants have received their Green Card within 2 to 3 months after their Priority Date is current. But this number is low. Generally, it takes up to 1 year to receive a Green Card after the Priority Date is current.
The time taken by the USICS department to issue GC after PD is current is almost a year due to several security checks, appointments and backlogs in the USICS department.