Wednesday, August 17, 2011

How long do I have to wait to get my green card?

It is not uncommon for people to wait for a long time to immigrate to US. They not only have to wait for petition to be approved, which depends on the category of petition and workload of USCIS. More than often, they have to wait for indefinite time after their petitions are approved. Why is that?

The reason immigration beneficiaries need to wait for long time is because The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sets the number of immigrant visas that may be issued to individuals seeking permanent resident status (a green card) each year.

Immigrant visas available to “immediate relatives” of U.S. citizens are unlimited, so are always available.  Family sponsored preference categories are limited to 226,000 per year and employment based preference visa are limited to 140,000 per year.  In addition, there are limits to the percentage of visas that can be allotted to each country.