Several thousand students come to USA every year and handful of those students go through the long, hard process of getting U.S. Citizenship. International student to U.S. Citizenship can take several years. Sometimes people wait for several years even to get their green card.
Green Card 101 Series
- Part 1 : Green Card Steps : EB2 and EB3
- Part 2 : Journey : International Student to U.S. Citizen
Lets take a journey to various steps a foreign students have to go through to get American Citizenship. Initial steps involve decision making about studying abroad in USA.
When I started my Engineering back in India, it was almost pre-decided that I want to study in USA. But, it was matter of cost involved and when my parents should arrange for large amount of money for bank statements and visa.
Before Coming to USA
- Decide to study in USA
- Take college admission tests ( SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, IELTS, etc)
- Apply to Universities
- Get Admission (I-20)
- Attend Visa Interview and get Visa
- Travel to USA
Student Life in USA
- Reach University
- Start attending college/university
- Search for job, internship, financial aid
- Graduate with degree
- Apply for Job
- Attend Job interview
- Get a Job
- Move to new place
- Get H1B Visa
- Get Married
- Spouse could be in H4
- Green Card Application
- Long wait ( for India and China)
- Change Jobs ( restart Green Card Process)
- Get Green Card
- Wait for about 5 years
- Apply for U.S. Citizenship
- Become an U.S. Citizen.
This whole process can take several years.
- Before USA : 2 years
- Student Life in USA : 2 to 5 years
- H1B to Green Card : Long wait ( EB2 for India – 10+ years)
- Green Card to Citizenship : 5 More Years
- Total : About 20+ years.
Don’t you think 20+ years is long time? But, that is he reality for several foreign students who came to USA.
I considered worst case scenarios for this calculation.
If employer files for Green Card in EB2 in second year of your H1B, then the wait times to get GC will be less than 10 years.
If you happen to file your green card application in EB3, then you might have to wait for LONG time. I mean several years ( like 20 or may be more). Unless Immigration laws are changed, this green card process is time consuming.
Do you have any questions about the wait times and steps listed above?