Unveiling the Secrets: Discover How Long It Truly Takes to Acquire a Green Card

The processing time for a green card can vary widely depending on the specific visa category, country of origin, and other factors. It can range from several months to several years.

Read on if you want a comprehensive response

Obtaining a green card, which grants lawful permanent residency in the United States, is a process that can vary in terms of time depending on several factors. While the previous response mentioned that the processing time can range from several months to several years, let’s dive deeper into the factors that can influence this timeline.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the duration to obtain a green card depends on multiple variables, including the visa category, country of origin, and the USCIS workload at the time of application. Visa categories such as immediate relatives of U.S. citizens tend to have faster processing times, while others may have lengthier wait times due to annual visa quotas or backlogs in visa availability.

A notable example of varying wait times can be seen in the family-sponsored preference categories. As per the October 2021 Visa Bulletin, the F1 preference category for unmarried adult children of U.S. citizens from Mexico has a priority date of January 1, 1998, meaning applicants who filed before this date have been waiting for over two decades. On the other hand, the F2A preference category for spouses and unmarried children of permanent residents from all countries has a current priority date, indicating no backlog.

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To shed more light on the topic, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas once remarked, “Nobody should have to wait 10 to 20 years to be reunified with their family members or to live in an environment where they are loved and safe.” This statement emphasizes the frustration and hardships faced by individuals who experience lengthy delays in obtaining a green card.

Furthermore, here are some interesting facts related to green cards and the immigration process:

  1. Diversity Visa: The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, commonly known as the green card lottery, grants up to 55,000 visas annually to individuals from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

  2. STEM Fields: Advanced degree professionals in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) can apply for an employment-based green card under the EB-2 and EB-3 categories, which can expedite their path to permanent residency.

  3. Employment Sponsorship: Many green card applications are sponsored by U.S. employers on behalf of foreign employees. Each year, around 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas are made available.

  4. Security Measures: The green card recently underwent a redesign to include enhanced security features such as holographic images, laser-engraved fingerprints, and embedded radio frequency identification (RFID) technology.

To provide a visual representation of the different visa categories and their corresponding wait times, here is a table summarizing the priority dates from the October 2021 Visa Bulletin:

Visa Category Priority Date (October 2021)
F1 – Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens from Mexico January 1, 1998
F2A – Spouses and Unmarried Children of Permanent Residents (All Countries) Current
Employment-Based First Preference (EB-1) – Priority Workers (All Countries) Current
DV – Diversity Visa (Green Card Lottery) N/A (Applicants selected in the lottery)
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In conclusion, the time it takes to obtain a green card depends on various factors, with processing times ranging from several months to several years. Priority dates, visa categories, and country of origin all play significant roles in determining the duration of the process. Understanding these factors and being aware of the current visa bulletin can help individuals navigate the complexities of the immigration system while aspiring to attain lawful permanent residency status in the United States.

See the answer to “How long does it take to get a green card?” in this video

The timeframe for receiving the actual green card after arriving in the USA depends on when the USCIS fee is paid. It is recommended to pay the fee before boarding the plane, as this allows the USCIS to print and send the card to the provided address. If the fee is paid early, the card can be sent within a month or two, even if the individual has not yet arrived in the US. However, if the fee is paid after arrival, it may take an additional month or two to receive the card. The green card is not necessary for employment, as the individual can use their social security number to start working, with the card solely serving as a visa status summary.

Other answers to your question

On average, it takes about two years for a green card to become available and three years total to get permanent resident status. It may take longer for citizens of Mexico, China, India, and the Philippines because they have a much higher volume of green card applicants annually.

The time it takes to get a green card depends on the type of green card, the category of eligibility, the country of origin, and the processing office. The average processing time is about two to three years. However, some categories may have longer waiting times due to annual limits or backlogs. The process usually involves filing a petition, applying for the green card, and attending an interview.

In most cases, it takes about two years for a green card to become available, and the entire process takes around three years. It can take slightly longer for citizens of Mexico, China, India, and the Philippines.

It takes 7 to 33 months to process a Green Card application. The Green Card processing time depends on the type of Green Card you are applying for, the location of the processing office and other factors. Family Preference Green Cards processing takes from 1 to 10 years depending on the wait time and yearly caps.

There are three steps to getting your Green Card in this category: Establishing the authenticity of the marriage relationship: this stage involves the execution and filing of Form I-130. Which takes between 6 to 11 months. Applying for the Green Card. Which takes anywhere between 3 to 5 months. The final interview and approval.

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