Getting a permanent resident status in the United States is a long process. While you apply for adjustment of status, you may feel anxious about when you will be able to hold the green card. For your ease, we got to tell you that as the process itself is not simple, don’t expect to get the card within days.
You need to file Form I-485, an application to register permanent residence, and submit various documents. After each step, you have to wait for the USCIS response to proceed further.
The steps to get the status of permanent residence are almost the same in every case. However, the time taken for Form I-485 processing varies depending upon the application, USCIS workload, and your ability to apply accurately without any revisions.
To help you know how long will it take to receive your green card, we have outlined an estimated timeline of every step along the way.
Steps and duration of the approval
Receipt of Application (2-3 Weeks)
After you have properly filed Form I-485 and application for permanent residence, you will get a USCIS response in the form of receipt notice through the mail in 2-3 weeks. This receipt (formally known as Form I-797C, Notice of action) will confirm your application.
If you haven’t appropriately filed, USCIS will send a receipt to reject the application or request the evidence. Either way, USCIS will delay your application processing. If you need more information, you can check their website by clicking here.
Appointment Notice for Biometrics (3-5 Weeks)
After receipt of the application, you will receive appointment notice within 3-5 weeks after filing. The notice will specify your biometrics date, time, and location. This biometric evaluation is needed for security clearance and criminal background checks.
Biometric Appointment (5-8 Weeks)
Your biometric appointment will be in the next 5-8 weeks, approximately 30 minutes. Check the appointment notice to know what you should bring to the biometric screening. During the biometric screening, USCIS will collect your fingerprints, photograph, and signature.
If you fail to reach a given time and date, you have to reschedule the appointment, further delaying processing.
Get Your EAD (12-16 Weeks)
If you adequately submitted Form I-765, Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, and Application for Employment Authorization, you will receive your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) within 12-16 weeks of filing.
Notice of Interview (4-10 Months)
Following the sequence of events, the petitioner and beneficiary will receive a notice of interview. The interview notice arrives in the mail within 4-10 months after filing. It is also possible that the beneficiary’s interview is waived, or there is no need for the petitioner to come for the interview.
Your date and time of interview will be in the next 2 months after receiving notice of interview. It’s advisable to get prepared for the interview. If anything is out of date in the documents, take the updated documents with you to prevent any delays in the processing.
Get the Permanent Residence (8-14 months after filing)
You might get permanent residence approval at the end of the interview. If approved, USCIS will mail you the green card that will take 8-14 months after filing.
If USCIS denies your status adjustment application, you will receive a mail explaining why it is rejected.
After you get a green card, you don’t need an EAD card further. You are now a permanent resident of the United States and have the right to travel outside the United States and return with a green card. You can also use this card as proof of working in the United States.