The journey to obtaining your green card can be a long process. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused backlogs for all USCIS petitions but significantly affected those who wish to adjust to permanent residency within the United States. Some adjustments are taking up to two years to process in certain service centers.
In recent months, as the pandemic is seemingly winding down and other countries are beginning to soften their COVID-19 regulations, we have seen a decrease in interview wait times at some foreign consulates. Now the question is: is consular processing going to be the quickest pathway to obtaining your green card?
By analyzing the projected wait times on the USCIS website, it is easy to compare them to the processing times listed on the Department of State’s website, specific to each consulate. Below we have provided two charts that can be used to compare processing times for our clients from the United Kingdom who are filing under the “US citizen filing for spouse, parent, or child category”:
Family Based Adjustment of Status within the United States
|DISCRIPTION OF BENEFIT SOUGHT||ESTIMATED PROCESSING TIME|
Application Alien Relative
13 – 18.5 months
|Form I-485||Application for Adjustment of Status to a Permanent Resident of the United States||12 – 28.5 months|
|Form I-131||Application for Travel abroad while I-485 is pending with USCIS||11 – 15 months|
|Form I-765||Application for Employment Authorization while I-485 is pending||
11.5 – 15 months
Consular Processing Green Card Process
|PROCESS NAME||DISCRIPTION OF BENEFIT SOUGHT||ESTIMATED PROCESSING TIME|
|Form I-130||Application Alien Relative||13 – 18.5 months|
|Transfer from USCIS to the NVC||If a visa is available to you USCIS will send your petition to the National Visa Center||4 – 8 weeks|
|NVC Case Creation and payment of fees||Once the NVC receives your petition they will open up a case for you. This will prompt you to pay the necessary NVC fees.||2 – 6 weeks|
|Submit DS-260 application and supporting civil documents||Once you have submitted all the necessary documents the NVC will again review the application and documents||3 – 4 months|
If you have questions about whether choosing consular processing could be a better option for you than filing an I-485 adjustment, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.