How Long Does a Green Card Process Take?

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It is difficult to place a rigid timeframe on green cards. Their processing times vary greatly, depending on a range of factors, including the priority date of the application as well as the service center that is reviewing the petition. The priority date refers to the date on which the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services receives the petition. The priority date will matter greatly as it essentially reflects an applicant’s place in the queue. When their priority date becomes current, they will be able to file the I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status to apply for permanent residence or apply for an immigrant visa abroad. An up-to-date listing of the current priority dates can be found on The Visa Bulletin, which is published monthly. 

The final action dates, which determine when an individual can file the I-485 for Adjustment of Status, are categorized based on the preference level of the green card classification as well as the country. If the green card that the individual is applying for is facing backlogs, as is currently happening for applicants from India and China, there will not be much movement in the final action date. If the backlogs are severe enough, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services may take years to process a Green Card. 

What Is the I-140 Processing Time?

The service center that is responsible for reviewing the petition plays a critical role in the I-140 processing time. If the service center is experiencing a large caseload, it may take longer to process petitions.  The service center that reviews your petition depends on the state and zip code from which the application is filed. The locator tool available on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service’s website may be used to determine which service center will process the petition. 

It is possible to check the I-140 processing times for your specific green card using the USCIS Check Case Processing Time tool. This tool will provide an estimation of how long it takes each service center to process the majority of cases. Currently, the following are rough estimations of the current processing times for the primary visa categories that we handle:

  • EB-1 Extraordinary Ability: the majority of cases (80%) are completed within 20 months to 22 months. 
  • EB-2 Outstanding Professor or Researcher: the majority of cases are completed within one year to 13 months.
  • EB-2 Advanced Degree or Exceptional Ability: the majority of cases are completed within 10 months.
  • EB-2 NIW: the majority of cases are completed within 16 to 19 months. 
  • EB-3 Multinational Executive or Manager: the majority of cases are completed within 12.5 months to 13.5 months. 
  • EB-3 Skilled Worker or Professional: the majority of cases are completed within 17.5 months to 20.5 months.

Again, processing times vary greatly depending on the unique circumstances of a case. Your immigration attorney can provide greater detail regarding the processing time for an I-140 petition. Furthermore, there are ways to expedite the process. This can be accomplished either through the implementation of a targeted legal strategy to ensure that a case is processed as quickly as possible or through the Premium Processing Service for the I-140 petition. 

What Is the Premium Processing Service for the I-140 Petition? 

The Premium Processing Service allows for faster processing of the I-140 petition. Not all I-140 petitions allow for premium processing, however. Currently, the following I-140 petitions are guaranteed a decision within 15 days using premium processing:

As of January 2023, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services expanded their premium processing services to include EB-3 Multinational Executive and Manager petitions as well as EB-2 NIW cases. This expansion represents an effort to increase efficiency. For these two types of I-140 petitions, premium processing guarantees a decision within 45 days. To apply for premium processing, Form I-907 is necessary. There is a $2,500 filing fee required for this service. 

Contact Alcorn Immigration Law Today

At Alcorn Immigration Law, we work diligently to ensure that the employment green card petition and application process is as efficient and expeditious as possible. Through our services, we create a tailored legal strategy to ensure that cases are processed as quickly as possible, mitigating all potential risks along the way to prevent costly delays. With offices in Mountain View, CA, and New York, NY, we help green card applicants from across the country and abroad. To learn more about how we can help, consider contacting us at +1(855) 546-0015 today