How Long Does It Take To Get a Green Card?
If you hope to become a legal US citizen, getting a green card is your first step. This process is long and complicated, and varies depending on your specific circumstance. Therefore, the process could take anywhere from a few months to 10 years. The green card application is broken into many steps, and the first step has the largest variation in how long it takes. It can be very frustrating and opaque to wait on the U.S Embassy to return an initial decision on your petition or application, and is during this phase that there is the greatest variability in turnaround time. After you have received a decision from the Embassy, your final decision may simply require submission of the proper documentation and following the steps in order.
The first step in applying for your green card is to have an employer or family member file a petition, or to determine if you will be applying through a less-common avenue. The most simple ways to get a green card are through immediate family members, or an employer sponsoring your application. Other situations that will give you access to a green card are through asylum, special immigration, and a variety of other situations that can be explored on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services site. Some other possible options for a green card are through a visa lottery, a diversity visa, as a returning resident, or possible political agreements between the US and your country of origin.
If you are applying and have an immediate family member that is a US citizen, this step may only take 3-4 months. If you are applying for an employment-based green card, the step may take between 1-4 years, and depends on your experience, immigration quotas, and other factors. Regardless of the type of green card you are applying for, it is important to understand the required documentation to begin your application successfully. There may be a lot of uncertainty about your legal status in the country while you are waiting on this step, and it is important that you are forthcoming and communicative with the embassy to ensure you are following the steps properly and legally.
Complicated Green Card Applications
If you believe that your green card application will be complicated due to extraneous circumstances or complications, it is strongly advised that you seek the help of an experienced immigration lawyer in Detroit. Most people will only deal with the application process for themselves or while helping a friend or family member. Having a professional to assist you in your application can expedite the process, identify potential complications, and navigate the required paperwork to ensure a smooth path to success. Once you are through the first steps of the green card application procedure, there is a significant amount of paperwork and documentation that you will be required to submit, and this can be simplified with the help of a professional.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes