There is a saying: ‘You usually have to wait for that which is worth waiting for’. Getting a green card is a time taking and a complex process. But if the results are up to your expectations, the entire wait is worthy.
Either you are applying while residing in the US or outside of the US, filing for adjustment of status, or gaining a green card for permanent residency in the US, you must go through some legal process that will eventually lead you to interview with the USCIS authorities.
You can never be sure of getting a green card at a certain time, neither does any official site may tell you. You can only have an estimate and that too from different sources. One source from you can get an idea is through advertisements but we all know advertisement shows the picture-perfect scenario which is quite different from the real world. Second, you can have a rough estimate through the official website of USCIS which says that the applicants may receive the green card within 120 days after you enter the US completing all the legal processes however, this also varies according to different circumstances. The third and genuine source is based on people’s own experiences with which the majority of the applicants can relate to according to their scenarios. The ultimate fact is that the USCIS will send your green card after completing the paperwork for this process and this may take quite a long time.
You are notified about the approval or rejection of your application the moment USCIS officers are done conducting your immigration interview, but fulfilling the legal process may face delays. And these delays may vary based on different circumstances.
After conducting the interview, if your application is transferred to the supervisor for approval, you might get your green card within 2 weeks.
In some cases, you are asked to give additional information for proving the legitimacy of your marriage. RFEs are required for that purpose for which you have 30-90 days to fulfill the requirements and that will add 1-3 months to your waiting time.
The USCIS will issue your green card once they get all the required information and evidence. One has to wait several weeks and months for resolving all the matters and providing them with the required information.
When interviewed in a consulate
Even if your application is approved at the time of your interview held in a consulate you still won’t get the green card immediately because you are supposed to receive your green card through the mail but the officer will insert the stamp on your passport at very moment which will be a proof of your permanent residency until your green card arrives you through the mail.
Green card timeline
As the exact time of getting the green card might not be calculated. Here is a quick review of how long the process can take.
You will then receive an appointment notice for biometrics appointment date, time, and location. This will take approximately 3-5 weeks after filing.
The biometric appointment is a 30 minutes process for collecting your biometric data such as your fingerprints, photographs, and signatures along with the relevant documents. This process is held within 5-8 weeks after filing.
(In case you have submitted I-765 form along with I-131 application) After 12-16 weeks of filing, you will receive your EAD card (EAD and advance parole travel document are combined on a single card) which is the work permit, from which you are able to work anywhere in the US.
The petitioner will most likely to receive to attend the Adjustment of the Status interview from USCIS within 4-10 months after filing.
After approximately 6-12 months after filing, you will be attending the interview which is supposedly the final step of getting the green card. You should come up prepared by reviewing the I-485 form along with relevant documents required.