Are you wondering how long it takes to get a green card? If yes then you’re in the right place. In this article, I’m going to walk you through everything you need to know about green cards including how you can actually renew your card with how long it will take to get a green card. We’ve written an article on how to renew your green card.
The length of time needed to obtain a green card through familial ties will be discussed in this article. There are more ways to get a green card, such as through employment or as a refugee, but the procedure and timeframe are considerably different in those cases.
Regardless of whether you’re confident that you meet the requirements for a family-based green card, you probably can’t wait to get the procedure over with and get your hands on the document. Unfortunately, it takes time to apply for and receive a green card based on family – they are not granted instantly.
But keep reading to learn how long you might anticipate having to wait for your family-based green card. Remember that USCIS processing times are subject to regular adjustment.
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Obtaining a family-based green card entails the following stages, regardless of the relationship between the sponsor and beneficiary (the American citizen or family member who already has a green card):
Provide evidence of the family connection by submitting Form I-130 (“Petition for Alien Relative”).
If the beneficiary is present in the United States, submit Form I-485 (“Application for Adjustment of Status”).
If the recipient is outside of the United States, submit Form DS-260 (Immigrant Visa Application).
The amount of time you must wait between submitting the family relationship form and making an application for a green card is the key determinant of how long it takes to obtain one.
GREEN CARDS BASE ON CITIZENS AND WAITING TIME
MARRIAGE OF US CITIZENS
A marriage-based green card often takes months to obtain if you already reside in the United States and your spouse is a citizen of the country. The I-130 and I-485 forms can be submitted simultaneously by spouses of citizens of the United States who reside in the country.
It often takes months to obtain a marriage-based green card if your spouse is a citizen of the United States and you are currently residing outside of the country.
SPOUSES OF HOLDERS OF GREEN CARDS
Before applying for a green card from within the United States or at a U.S. consulate overseas, spouses of green card holders must wait for a green card to become available after their sponsor files form I-130. A green card typically becomes accessible after approximately two years, and the complete process takes around three years. For residents of Mexico, China, India, and the Philippines, it can take a little bit longer.
You will have to wait roughly – months to get your green card if you already reside in the US and your spouse has one.
You will need to wait roughly – months to get your green card if your spouse already has one and you are currently a foreign resident.
WIVES OF AMERICAN CITIZENS
If a widow or widower of a citizen of the United States applies within two years of their spouse’s passing, they are eligible to apply for a green card. Widows and widowers must submit Form I-360 (“Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant”) in place of the family relationship form (I-130), which is used for marriage-based green cards for spouses of U.S. citizens.
PARENTS OF AMERICANS
The number of green cards that can be issued to parents of citizens of the United States is unlimited, just like it is for spouses. Therefore, parents of American citizens can typically obtain a green card within 1-2 years of submitting a family-based green card application.
MINORS (CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 21) OF US CITIZENS
There is no cap on the number of green cards that can be granted to U.S. citizens’ children who are younger than 21 years old, unlike spouses and parents. Green card applications for minor children of U.S. citizens are typically processed between two and three years following the first application.
CHILDREN OF GREEN CARD HOLDERS WHO ARE MINORS (UNDER 21)
Prior to applying for a green card from either within the United States or at a U.S. consulate overseas, minor children of green card holders must wait until a green card becomes available after their sponsor files form I-130. The wait time for minor children of green card holders is comparably lower than it is for other categories because they fall into the same category as spouses of green card holders.
A green card typically becomes accessible after approximately two years, and the complete process takes around three years. For residents of Mexico, China, India, and the Philippines, it can take a little bit longer.
US CITIZENS’ UNMARRIED, ADULT CHILDREN
Timeline from beginning to end: 7-8 years; 10+ years for Filipino citizens; 20+ years for Mexican citizens.
After their U.S. citizen parent has submitted the I-130 on their behalf, adult children of citizens must wait for a green card to become available. The wait may be prolonged, particularly for Mexican nationals.
GREEN CARD HOLDERS’ UNMARRIED ADULT CHILDREN
Timeline from beginning to end: 8–9 years; 10–+ years for Filipino citizens; 20+ years for Mexican citizens
US CITIZENS’ WEDDED ADULT CHILDREN
Timeline from beginning to end: 13–14 years; for residents of the Philippines and Mexico, 22+ years
BIRTHPARTIES OF US CITIZENS
Timeline from beginning to end: 14 to 16 years; 16 or more years for Indian nationals; 20 or more years for Mexican people; and 24 or more years for Filipino citizens.
Except for spouses, parents, and minor children of citizens of the United States, there are annual restrictions on the number of people who may apply for family-based green cards. For everyone else, there is a line that must form before a green card may be issued.
The question “How long does it take to receive a green card?” has no single solution. The timetable is influenced by your nation of residence, your circumstances, and the relationship between the sponsor and beneficiary. Before processing an application, USCIS occasionally needs to request more information, which always lengthens the procedure. In any situation, however, the quicker you file the initial application, the quicker you or a member of your family will be granted a green card.
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