pending eb2 green card applications

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

Raghuram Sukumar Green Card 55 Comments

Short Answer: Really long time. Several Years of Indian National on EB2 and EB3. And several years of wait time for Chine Nationals.

Some 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 depends on your country of birth, not country of citizenship. So, the wait time for Green card to USA depends on your country of Birth.

Majority of the Green Card is issued through Employment Based or Family Based Category. In this article we will consider the 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- BasedAll Chargeability Areas Except Those ListedChina – mainland bornINDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES

The 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 the 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
  6. How EB Green Card Spill Over between EB1, EB2, EB3, EB4 and EB5 works


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

  2. HBS


    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



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

    1. 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 !!

  4. 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.

  5. Hello,

    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..

  6. 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!

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

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

      2. @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!

  9. 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,…

          1. 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

    1. 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

    2. 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….



  10. 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.


  11. 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.

  12. 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??????????

    1. 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.


  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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

        1. Ravi “Kumar”,

          Why don’t take a picture of yourself kissing Aussiexpat ass? And then hang it on your wall! Did you see his comment? What is wrong with Indians migrating to US? Didn’t Europeans migrated to US, Australia and other places?If you look at the history of US, large number of Chinese, Philippines people have migrated here in same fashion. I think you have inferiority complex against white skin.

    2. Showing the Aussie attitude aye – whatabout you migrating to Aus and finishing off the aboriginals – that was very fair wasn’t it? The Indians are the oldest culture in the world – learn some history – the population is more refined, cultured and educated than anyone else…Not taking anyones side – but your comment irritated me….you guys went into Aus and served your ‘justice’on the natives and then now you have the nerve to comment here.

  17. A very helpful article. Is there an estimate number of years it will take for an EB-3 in the first category to get a green card?

    Thank you,

  18. Hi Raghu,

    Very informative article!

    A couple points that need your kind attention:

    1. I am currently on H1B, my visa maxout is 2018 but it expires May 2015.
    2. My company is filing my EB1 and they just sent over my EB1 papers to CIS today.

    As you can see, May 2015 is just 5 months from today, what should I do, wait till GC approves or apply for H1B extension in the meanwhile?

    Would my H1B extension application create conflicts with my GC application processing?

    Any further thoughts would be highly appreciated.

  19. hey raghu … nice informative article …

    one doubt … all this is dependent on country of birth right ?? I mean … I am an Indian passport holder but I was born in Doha,Qatar. My Dad used to work there bck then. I am based in India for the last 12 years. All my education until bachelors is in india and I am an Indian passport holder and have no residency etc in Qatar. As that country doesnt grant anything to expats.

    My question …. I am planning to study in the USA after sometime ….. Will my green card process be different and shorter as they take in to consideration country of birth ?

    Also can i apply for DV Visa lottery ? as that is based on country of birth as well ?

    1. Author

      My expertise goes only so far. Not the the extent o answer your questions :). You can post the same question via Ask an Attorney. You will have an answer within 2 days.

    2. Hii Did you get any answers for your question , I am in the same situation as you are in.
      Born in iran and from India holds a Indian passport and got Masters from united States.

      1. Author

        Country of birth is that counts for Green card wait times.

    3. if you are an indian passport holder but were born somewhere else say Dubai or Doha , you will be considered as Person from dubai/doha and hence your GC will come much earlier sometimes within 2 years. obviously category matters so EB2 will be definately faster that EB3 but for the most part the timelines are current for all the countries except India, China, mexico and couple others.

      My friend got her GC in 2 years just because he was born in dubai eve though he had Indian passport . His was filed under EB2

  20. How long is it taking now a days to get the H1b based GC for Pakistanis?

  21. If I’m applying for GC through family extension from India through sibling method, I’m aware it will take 10 year or more for the process. Meanwhile If I get a job opportunity outside India after 1 year of application,
    1. eg: Japan, can i still pursue it ?
    2. How should I complete remaining processes as I still need the GC to settle in USA.
    3. Which address should I give for communication later? Home address or international address?
    4. Which country should the remaining process be completed? Home country or International location.
    Please assist in clarifying.

  22. Hi
    How long it takes to get GC for a person of Indian origin when applied under EB 1A category?

    1. Author

      Max 6 months (if PD is current). As of Nov 2016 Visa bulletin, EB1 is current.

  23. My Employer is willing to file Green Card for me in next 6 months.

    I am in stem OPT. My STEM OPT expires in next 20 months. I have more one attempt to file H1.

    I Have the following questions on Green Card application. Please answer ?

    1. Will my Green Card application (filed while on OPT) be valid , If my status changes with Day 1 CPT 24 months program ?

    2. What are the chances to get I-140 approved if i have 12 months(OPT) + 24months(CPT) = total 3 years ?

    3. If my I-140 approved, Since i am not in H1 and if my F1 Visa expires, Can i continue staying in USA and work ?

  24. I live in Canada and I am due to apply for citizenship in few zmonths. I have been processing my EB3 visa application and I am due for an interview next month at the US embassy. If it goes through I will be signing a contract 3 to 4 yrs to work with this employer . My priority date is Feb of 2008. I had been told the visas we already available for this priority date long time ago. Please advice. Thx

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