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.

Image Source –

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
  • Aussiexpat

    Indians, and I’m sorry to say this are swamping the US immigration system, meaning that countries such as mine (Australia) which only has a handful of people moving to the US have to wait 6-8 years (in EB3). Indians have swamped Canada, Australia, Fiji, NZ – now they’re swamping the US. I have no problems with Indians migrating, but the sheer numbers and the pushy nature of Indians who think they’re the only ones deserving is what pisses me off. Believe me, the US will regret it if it doesn’t slow down the numbers of Indians coming here.

    • aussieracists

      Sorry Aussiexpat, You are a racist moron. What do you mean by Indian are swamping? Did your ancestors SWAMP Australia from EU? There is no logic to your argument because it is racist just as your country’s reputation is acknowledged world wide.

      • Ravikumar

        Indians are definitely swamping the US. What’s wrong in Aussie expats comment ? Instead of accusing, You could have said If Indians are swamping, so are the Chinese and Vietnamese etc. By using such foul language in the forums like this you are unknowingly contributing to earn a bad reputation for Indians

  • Swathi

    Baaru dont be so rude…even im an indian..but i support Garry mann. If USA is for indians then for whom is India for. Migrants dont work for development, they work for their own needs. If they really want to work for development, then let em work in India. And, NOBODY, except very few(people like you) work for development.

  • Swathi

    Frankly speaking, we dont hate india, but we dnt hav much opportunities. One thing i very much appreciate in US is each n every person like software engineers and people without much qualification have their own identity but in india it doesnt happen. People dnt care others who are less qualified or earns very low income (sometimes they ill-treat also). So to avoid that people work very hard to go to other countries to earn more income.

  • Mona

    Baaru dont be so rude…even im an indian..but i completely agree with Garry mann. If USA is for indians then for whom is India for. Migrants dont work for development, they work for their own needs. If they really want to work for development, then let em work in India. And, NOBODY, except very few(people like you) work for development.

  • TeBack

    why,indians hate their own,country hu,,? hei indians i dont get u ,why u guy dont like staying home and all the time thinking about how to migrate STAY in UR am in Russia,,alot of indians here despite Neo-Nazi scare .In canada,-thousand indians .in US -millions,Africa -hundreds. why??????????

    • http://happyschool Vijay

      Hi Mr. Rude,

      The only think Indians are every where is because there tallent and hard work. You guys can’t use your brain more than 7 hours (1 hour lunch, and 20 mins x 4 breaks within a day ) , even after that you couldn’t achieve your simple task.

      Indian do their work like do or die you people will count every hour and once your hour finsh you will just left your work in between , no one stops anyone…be smart work hard …you will get chance…don’t blame on others.

      BTW..We always love India….and even we have lots of opportunity in India…we want to shine on international level ..that is the reason we want to provide our service to such a beautiful nation like USA, they really like our professional work and they INVITE US…(that’s the reason they approved our visas..otherwise they would have just reject all the Indian….)

      Proud to be an Indian…and love to work for a nation like USA.


  • Sneh

    I became US citizen in April 2008 and I have applied Green Card for my married Sister (citizen of India) in August 2008. When she will get her Green Card.

  • Winson

    Hi all,
    I was born in Sri lanka then migrate it to Canada 20yrs back become Canadian. I have Bachelor of electrical engineering degree and work experience is close to 12 yrs. I move to USA 7 yrs back right now I am working as full time with one of the client for 3.5yrs. I am just wondering If I can qualify for EB2 process. If so how long it will take to get my GC.


  • Garry Mann

    guys…. US sucks now, no jobs, no money to return educational loans, in few months you will see boards everywhere No dogs, No H1b, No Indians allowed,…

    • HSB

      No one is asking you to come to USA.

      • Garry Mann

        I am already in US dude.

        • Madhu

          Garry, you are quite right about the situation.

          • carol kizner

            My husband got his H1B three times from three different employers, and was laid off three times before they completed the process of his green card application. We finally had to leave the country, and go to Peru, which is his country of origin, rather than Canada, where there are not any jobs in his field, at present. No one wants to sponsor him any more in the U.S., now, while there is a recession. We have wasted nine years of our lives on either TN or H1B visas in the U.S., hoping all the time that our green cards would come through, and they never did. CK

            • Raghuram Sukumar

              I can certainly understand what you must have gone through.

    • BAARU

      listen dude.. USA is for indians do u understand.. most of the people like to work in McDonalds and Burger King.. migrants work hard towards development.. people like u just eat french fries, drink beer and watch TV.. does it suit u.. u call us indian… ask ur mom who she slept with, last time….. Indian??? coz ur father had no time for family

    • http://happyschool Vijay

      Hey Garry….Mind your language…

      Due to Indians all the systems..nucler plants are working…If we stop working second you will die…because you the doctor who will do surgery on your brain tumor…IS INDIAN….



  • nicho

    Why the hell would I wait for all these years just to live in the United States. Immigrants have been brainwashed by the media into believing that the United States is paradise.You have to wait 20 years plus while dealing with these arrogant Americans. You can have a much better life in your country coz you'll have your family there with you, friends, low cost of living. I don't understand why someone with a house back home and a decent paying job would come to live in the states

    • Carolyn Johnston

      I don’t understand it either and in fact, most Americans would prefer if you just stay where you are right now.

      • kapil

        Agreed. US will collapse if China, India and Brazil stop buying US goods. IT Outsourcing, while there is a big hue and cry in US, will not impact India significantly. Hardly a million people work in a country of billion and where domestic market is key. The last thing a country like India wants is to go back to nationalistic days of banning foriegn companies like GE, Ford, GM etc. But yeah you cannot control public sentiment in India like in US.

        • msk

          First and foremost if US stops buying from India and China, they will be out of business, their source of income will stop. Most of the Indians in India will be out of jobs. India relies mostly foreign remittances from people working in other countries. US is the biggest consumer of foreign goods my friend. India can never come close to the US. Today I see india mostly trying to copy the US in everything they do still their quality is way lower. Indians are penny pinchers and cannot be big spenders like the Americans. Thats why there is still a big line up outside the US consulate in India. It is still a well managed country for a common person than India and China, where only the rich and power control everything. In India most of the wealth is controlled by a handful of rich people and the common India only knows to boast about them rather than his own self to the world to prove than India is prospering. In India lots of people still are without water, proper sanitation, and access to basic necessities of life and ofcourse the biggest disease CORRUPTION at every level- Nothing can be done in one go. They make life miserable for every little thing. Guys go and check it out yourself (don’t go as a tourist) and you will never want to live there.

      • aussieracists

        @Carolyn Johnston No one gives rat’s @$$ to your opinion or anyone else’s opinion. People migrate if they want to, they will not if they don’t want. No one can stop it. b&^%h!

  • GAgan

    Hi thanks for this information. I have a question. What about if I am canadain citizen and applying for Green card in US then how much time it will take for me. Or could you please redirect me to any other link where i can get this information.

    Best Regards

  • Nick

    I have a question…

    I have a BS in EE from Purdue University and I am currently working as an EE.

    The company is ready to sponsor my Green Card. If I enroll in a part time MS degree, would I be considered in the EB-2 category or would I be still considered in the EB-1 category?

    Thanks in advance!

    • HSB

      Having MS will not get you into EB2. your job requirement should have Masters as listed.

      • Rakesh Singh

        Hi HSB if iam having phd in computer science will that entitle me for EB2 category

  • Palaniappan


    I had completed B.Tech biotechnology in India.I have opted for studying masters degree in biotech and i have shortlisted the universities in scotland and Newzealand: Edinberg napier univ,scotland and Leeds univ,scotland and Univ of auckland,NZ.Please mention abt popularity,credentials and titlehood of these univ.Is it worth to study masters degree in biotech in these univ?…Please help..

  • Aks

    Hi readers…

    That one is very long time.

    can any one tell how much does it take for Canadian green card.

    for many of the students canada is the 2nd opetion.

  • Varun Kumar

    I think its best to be hired by US Army after your study. There is a MAVNI scheme under which even International Students can apply for Army.

    • Varun Kumar

      Green card right when u hired and within 2 years they give citizenship… I think working at least 5 years in Army is compulsory… then you can leave… moreover the benefits you get they add upto extra !!

      • Varun Kumar

        Its only US Army and not US Navy, Marines or Air Force etc.

  • Karthikeyan S

    hey it thought Master's degree(MS,PhD) holders come under EB2 category. am i wrong?

  • easwaran



    a very informative,

    it is not surprising too.

    that is why many Indian aspire for this

    minimum i think 7 has to work in USA,

    but it will be great if some more information can be provided

    for example for Canadian PR, the rule states that one should have lived in Canada with out leaving for continuously nearly 3 yrs

    is there any time schedule is there.if so please guide

    hope one day our India too will become like this

    people should wait to get Indian citizen ship

    i am an optimist.

    eternal optimist

    let us see

    how we progress



  • Ganesh Gopal

    It is 30 years wait time as of today for EB3 India —

    It will be atleast 9 years for EB2 India, as of today. It is very hard to project the law changes on immigration and job status in 2015.

    Also, GC lottery is not available for persons who are born in India or China mainland.

  • Maxim

    Ohh… it takes so long to get GC! Sure, the best way to try is GC Lottery..