Obtaining a green card is very essential, especially if a person seeks permanent residence or Citizenship. But it can be a very strenuous one, as they are different documents to carry about, different forms to fill, fees to pay and several other complicated processes. Although all these are to ensure that there are no complications or mistakes, but the process tends to be time-consuming and tiring.
The phase that takes the longest when trying to obtain a green card is usually the petition phase. The petition made by your employer or a family member has to be passed and reviewed by various US institutions before it can be accepted. You would then have to apply for the real immigrant visa at your home country and wait again to receive information from the Embassy. A very slow and frustrating process indeed!
Although visa approvals are not entirely time-consuming, people often wonder how long it takes to get a green card. The time largely depends on the type of green card you are applying for, ranging from a few months to even ten years. We have the Family Based Immigrant Visas, which allows individuals to gain admittance into the US along with his/her family-husband/wife, children, and siblings. Other family relatives are not included in this visa. There is usually a limited amount of family visas per year, so ensure you register on time. Then, there is the immediate family visa, which does not have a time limit so can be applied for and gotten at any time.
Furthermore, we have family preference visas, which have one of the highest processing times. The processing can last from a few months to ten years depending on when the petition will be reviewed by the US State Department on the set priority date. One thing you can do on your part is to ensure that all your documents are provided without mistakes. Then we have, Green cards given on an employment basis, and they are given based on early applications. The employer sponsoring the applicant has to show proof that there were no US Citizens qualified, willing and able to do the job. The Returning Resident Visa is usually given to persons who, for reasons best known to them, could not return to the US after a year of leaving. They have to show proof to the USCIS that they wanted to return to the US but could not due to unforeseen circumstances. The processing doesn’t take much time. If the application is denied, they have to apply again.
Finally, there is the Diversity Visa given to people with low immigration rates in the US. Once selected, the applicant has to follow due processes. Overall, it can take up to two years before getting the green card.