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What’s the average wait time for a green card in New Jersey?

On Behalf of | Sep 23, 2022 | Immigration |

Most immigrants staying in New Jersey have probably heard how lengthy the process of getting a green card is. The time can vary depending on many factors, including your location and delays in your application.

What’s the main factor in wait time?

Usually, there’s a required waiting period between filing the family relationship form and applying for a green card. Filing the family relationship usually comes first with the I-130 form, and an actual green card application has to be filed after that’s approved.

People applying for a marriage-based green card if they’re already in the U.S. can file both forms at the same time, which can speed up the process quite a bit. However, if you’re outside of the U.S. applying for any sort of green card, there will usually be a wait time.

This is because you have to wait for a green card to become available before you can apply for an Immigrant Visa Application, even after you’ve filed the family relationship. This wait time doesn’t necessarily exist for widows or parents of U.S. Citizens though.

What are the average wait times?

Someone applying for a marriage-based green card when they’re already in the U.S. will usually receive it in 11 to 20 months. However, if they’re not in the U.S., it’ll take anywhere from 7 to 14 months.

If your spouse is a green card holder, but you are not in the U.S. with them, it could take up to 35 months to receive your green card. But if you’re in the U.S. it will only take 11 to 20 months.

Other things that impact wait times

The application has to be reviewed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. They might ask for additional information, which can cause wait times to increase.

It’s important to keep thorough documentation and copies of every step in your application. It can be hard to be patient, but the payoff is worth it.