How long does it take to obtain a marriage green card if both spouses are in the U.S.?
The timeline for obtaining a marriage-based green card in the U.S. can vary based on several factors, including USCIS processing times, individual circumstances, and potential backlogs. Here’s a general overview of the process:
- Submit Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative): The first step is for the U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse to file Form I-130 to establish the relationship with the foreign spouse. Processing times for this form can vary, but it typically takes several months.
- File Form I-485 (Adjustment of Status): If the foreign spouse is already in the U.S. on a valid visa, they can file Form I-485 to adjust their status to that of a permanent resident. Concurrent filing of Form I-130 and Form I-485 is possible, which can potentially expedite the process.
- Biometrics Appointment: Once the I-485 is filed, the foreign spouse will need to attend a biometrics appointment for fingerprinting and background checks. This usually occurs a few weeks after filing.
- Interview: USCIS may schedule an interview for the couple to evaluate the authenticity of the marriage and the eligibility for the green card. This step is not always required, but when it is, it usually takes place several months after filing.
- Processing Time: Processing times for the I-485 can vary based on the USCIS workload and location. In some cases, it might take around 8 to 14 months from filing to approval. However, this timeline can change due to various factors, including policy changes, USCIS backlogs, and workload fluctuations.
- Conditional Green Card: If the marriage is less than two years old at the time the green card is approved, the foreign spouse will receive a conditional green card that is valid for two years.
- Remove Conditions: Within the 90-day period before the conditional green card expires, the couple must file Form I-751 to remove the conditions on the green card. This involves demonstrating that the marriage is still genuine and ongoing. Processing times for the removal of conditions can also vary.
It’s important to note that these timelines are approximate and subject to change. USCIS processing times and policies can vary, and unexpected delays can occur. For the most up-to-date information and guidance, it’s recommended to visit the official USCIS website or consult with an immigration attorney.
How long does it take to obtain a marriage green card if the beneficiary is abroad?
The process of obtaining a marriage-based green card when the beneficiary is abroad involves several steps and can take varying amounts of time: https://bwea.com/how-long-take-to-get-a-marriage-based-green-card/
Keep in mind that processing times can change, so it’s important to consult the official USCIS website or seek legal advice for the most current information. Here’s a general overview of the process:
- Submit Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative): The U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse must file Form I-130 to establish the relationship with the foreign spouse. This step can take several months for processing.
- National Visa Center (NVC) Processing: Once the I-130 petition is approved, it is forwarded to the National Visa Center. The NVC will send instructions to the petitioner on how to proceed with visa processing. This stage can take a few weeks to a few months.
- Choice of Agent and Fee Payment: The petitioner (U.S. spouse) must choose an agent, typically the beneficiary, and pay the required fees to the NVC.
- DS-260 Form: The beneficiary must complete the online DS-260 form, which is the application for an immigrant visa. This form gathers personal and background information. The processing time for the DS-260 form depends on the individual’s circumstances and how quickly the form is submitted.
- Gather Supporting Documents: The beneficiary needs to gather various documents, such as civil documents (e.g., birth certificates, marriage certificates), police clearances, medical examinations, and financial documents.
- Interview: The beneficiary will be scheduled for an interview at the U.S. consulate or embassy in their home country. The waiting time for interview scheduling can vary based on the consulate’s workload. After the interview, the consular officer will determine whether the beneficiary is eligible for an immigrant visa.
- Immigrant Visa Issuance: If the consular officer approves the immigrant visa, the beneficiary will receive an immigrant visa in their passport, which allows them to enter the U.S.
- Travel to the U.S.: Once the immigrant visa is issued, the beneficiary can travel to the U.S. and will be inspected by a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at a port of entry.
- Obtain Conditional Green Card: After entering the U.S., the beneficiary will receive a conditional green card if the marriage is less than two years old.
It’s important to note that processing times at each stage can vary based on factors such as the consulate’s workload, the complexity of the case, and the accuracy and completeness of the documentation provided. For the most current processing times and requirements, consult the official USCIS website or seek legal guidance. Read more “list your business in the” “free and paid submission to the” “add your site” statistics
How can I expedite the timeline of my green card application approval?
Expediting the timeline of a green card application approval involves understanding the available options and circumstances that might qualify you for faster processing. Keep in mind that not all situations are eligible for expedited processing, and each case is evaluated individually. Here are some strategies you could consider:
- Immediate Relative: If you are an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen (spouse, parent, or unmarried child under 21), your case may be given priority processing, which could lead to a faster approval timeline.
- Military Service: If you are in the U.S. military or a military veteran, you might qualify for expedited processing based on your service. This can also apply to your spouse and children.
- Emergency Situations: If you have a compelling emergency situation, such as serious medical issues, you might be able to request expedited processing. You would need to provide documentation supporting the urgency of your case.
- Humanitarian Reasons: If you can demonstrate humanitarian reasons for expedited processing, such as family separation due to critical health issues, you might be considered for faster processing.
- USCIS Expedite Request: In certain situations, you can make a formal request to USCIS to expedite your case. This usually requires providing evidence of the urgency or necessity for faster processing. USCIS will evaluate these requests on a case-by-case basis.
- Premium Processing (Employment-Based): For certain employment-based green card categories, you can pay an additional fee for premium processing, which can speed up the adjudication process.
- Avoid Mistakes: Ensure that your application is complete, accurate, and well-documented. Mistakes or omissions can lead to delays. Consult with an immigration attorney if needed to ensure your application is strong from the start.
- Stay Informed: Check the USCIS website regularly for updates on processing times and potential changes in policies. Staying informed about the latest developments can help you plan accordingly.
- Expedite Requests at U.S. Consulates: If you are processing your green card through consular processing abroad, you might inquire about any expedite options available at the U.S. consulate or embassy where your interview will take place.
- Congressional Inquiry: As a last resort, you might consider contacting your congressional representative to inquire about your case’s status. While this doesn’t guarantee expedited processing, it could prompt USCIS to review your case.
Remember that expedited processing is generally reserved for exceptional circumstances, and USCIS has discretion in granting or denying these requests. It’s important to provide thorough documentation and evidence to support your request for expedited processing. Additionally, keep in mind that policies and procedures can change, so it’s always a good idea to verify information on the official USCIS website or through legal counsel.