How Long Does It Take to Get a Green Card?

Are you a foreign national hoping to secure a green card? Are you ready to take charge of your future and fight for United States citizenship? If so, you may wonder how long it will take before your green card application can be approved. Unfortunately, processing times can vary depending on a variety of factors. 

However, when you have an experienced immigration lawyer at Cox Esq., PC on your side, you can get the legal support and guidance you need when you need it most. Contact our team today to find out more about whether you meet the eligibility for a green card application approval and how long it might take before you can obtain citizenship.

What Determines How Long It Will Take to Obtain a Green Card?

The amount of time it will may take to obtain your green card will vary widely depending on the type of visa or green card you are hoping to receive, whether you meet the eligibility requirements, how easy it is for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to verify the information contained in your application, where the processing office is located, and other factors. 

Generally, it can take anywhere from seven months to as much as three years to process a green card application. In some instances, it could take as long as ten years if you are pursuing a family preference green card or an employment-based green card. 

Types of Green Cards

You will need to consult with an immigration lawyer if you have questions about specific types of green cards. Reviewing all the information without the assistance of a skilled immigration lawyer can be confusing.

Family-Based Green Cards

You may be able to apply for multiple types of family-based visas. You might be surprised to learn that certain types of family-based visas have yearly caps. This means that only a certain number of individuals can be approved for family-based visas. 

Anyone who is not selected for application processing during this round of green card selections will need to wait until the next yearly cycle. 

Employment-Based Green Cards

Regarding processing times for green cards, employment-based green cards have some of the quickest turnaround times. Employment-based green card applications are processed as they are received. 

If you are hoping for a high demand visa, it could be anywhere from 4 to 6 years before your visa application is processed. However, in many cases, processing can be completed and as little as one year, depending on the circumstances of your case.

If you are hoping to reduce the amount of time it takes to process your employment-based visa application, make sure that there are no mistakes, you have provided all necessary supporting evidence, and that all of your USCIS documents are in proper order. If USCIS officials need to send your application back to you, this could delay the processing of your claim even further.

Diversity Visas

If you are hoping to obtain a visa or green card through the diversity lottery, you can expect lottery winners to be announced within seven months of the lottery application submission deadline. Once all winners have been announced, it will take more than six months for visa applications to be processed. 

Once your application has been completed, USCIS officials will notify you. Results may be posted on the USCIS website. You can only apply for a diversity visa if you have been selected as a diversity lottery winner. 

However, once you have completed all the necessary documents, it could take up to two years for the US Embassy to process your request. If you have additional questions about how diversity visas work, do not hesitate to contact our immigration attorneys for more information.

Returning Resident Green Cards

If you are a returning foreign national looking for a returning resident visa, you will need to be able to prove to USCIS officials that you had every intention of returning to the United States but were incapable of doing so with just cause. 

Be prepared to go through a second visa interview and hear from the US Embassy’s Consular Officer whether your request for a returning resident visa will be approved. Unfortunately, there is no set processing time for returning resident visas. As soon as your visa interview is complete, you will know whether your application has been approved.

Green Card Processing Times

Applications are processed in the order in which they are received. This means it could be years before your application is processed. It is important to ensure that the information contained within your application is up-to-date and complete so there are no further delays in the processing of your green card application.

There are two primary types of family-based green cards. These include marriage green cards and family preference visas. To obtain a marriage green card, also known as an IR-1 visa, you may need to wait as much as one year before your green card application is processed. 

Alternatively, if you went with a family preference visa, Your application could be reviewed in as little as one year. The date your family preference visa will be reviewed depends on when you applied and whether you are selected as part of the yearly limit. 

If you are not selected this year, you will need to wait until the next round of visa selections. If you continue to be passed over due to the yearly limit for a family preference green card, you might need to wait as much as ten years before your application is reviewed.

Contact an Immigration Attorney for Help Today

The laws surrounding immigration in the United States are extremely complex. If you are hoping to get the answers you need so you can secure your green card as soon as possible, make sure you have a reputable immigration lawyer at Barrios Virguez advocating for you. To get started on your case, call Cox Esq., PC to schedule your confidential case evaluation as soon as today.