How Long Does it Take to Get Green Card in USA for EB1, EB2 and EB3?

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Short Answer : Really long time. Several Years.

Some of frequently asked questions

  • How long it will take to get green card in EB2 ?
  • How long does it take to get a green card through employment ?
  • GC processing time for eb2
  • Green card wait time by country
  • Green card processing time for Indian citizens
  • Current wait time for eb2 green card

Green Card Wait time to depends on your country of birth, not country of citizenship. So, the wait time for Green card to USA depends on person to person.

Majority of the Green Card is issued through Employment Based or Family Based Category. For this article  we will consider Employment Based  Category.

Green Card Categories

Every year 140,000 applicants are given US green card in employment based categories. Within that 140,000, each country can have cap, which is 7% of 140,000 green card (9,800).

They are further divided into five categories  as follows

  1. EB1 – Priority Workers
  2. EB2 -  Professionals with advanced degrees or persons with exceptional ability
  3. EB3 – Skilled or professional workers
  4. EB4 -  Special Immigrants
  5. EB5 -  Investors (Employment Creation)

How Long to Get Green Card

According to May Visa Bulletin 2014

Employment- Based All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed China – mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
EB2 C 15APR09 15NOV04 C C
EB3 01OCT12 01OCT12 01OCT03 01OCT12 01NOV07

Above table shows the priority dates for EB1, EB2 and EB3 categories for India and China.

If you apply for Green card in EB1 Category, you can get it in GC in less than one year.

  • C = Priority Date in Current
  • No PERM labor Process for EB1 category.
  • I-140 and I-485 applications can be filed concurrently.

For EB-2 Green Card submitted on November 15, 2004 is being processed for Indian Nationals ( born in India).

That’s about 10 years wait. But, in theory, it takes about 4 to 6 years.

Pending Green Card Applications for EB2 – India

green card wait times eb2
Pending EB2 Green card applications for India – April 2014

Example Processing Time EB3

  • Start Masters Degree from Fall 2014
  • Complete Masters in Summer 2016 ( 2 years)
  • Employer apply for your Green Card in 2020 in EB2
  • Add 20 or maybe more years to the wait time from 2020
  • You can expect to get US Permanent Residency in 2030.

For EB3, unless law changes, wait times is unbelievably long.

Pending Green Card Applications for EB3

pending eb3 green card applications india
Pending Green Card Applications for EB3 – India

Above case figures and examples should give an idea on how long it would take for you to get the Green Card.

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If you think getting H1B Visa via lottery is complex, then you would realize the pain and long wait times for India and China is much more painful.

Why  long Wait Times?

You might be wondering why does it take so long for processing green card and why so many petitions are in pending state?

Read the articles in the Green Card Series :

  1. How Long Does it Take to Get Green Card in USA for Eb1, EB2 and EB3 (this article)
  2. Green Card Steps for  EB2 and EB3 Explained
  3. Green Card Visa Numbers availability for E1, EB2 and EB3
  4. US Green Card Waiting Time Based on Pending Applications
  5. Immigration Path : Steps for an F1 Visa to Become U.S. Citizenship
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