You, the intending immigrant, have filed your green card through marriage application in the United States via the adjustment of status process.
Congrats! Now what?
Now, unfortunately, it’s a long waiting game with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Below is the general and most common timeline for what to expect as part of this process, if there are no complications or delays with your case. Some common delays can include receiving a Request for Evidence, or the rescheduling of an appointment given to you by the USCIS.
Step 1: Receipt Notices
The first step after application submission will be to receive receipt notices from the USCIS acknowledging receipt of all parts of your green card application. You will receive these notices about 2 to 3 weeks from application submission. The receipt notices will include receipt numbers that can be used to track your case status online at the following link:
The receipt notices will also acknowledge payment of the fees.
Step 2: Biometrics
After the arrival of receipt notices, you will receive a notice scheduling a biometrics appointment for you, the intending immigrant. This appointment is where you will have your fingerprints and photo taken for identity and background check purposes. This notice is received about 1 to 3 weeks after the receipt notices arrive, with the actual appointment date held approximately 4 to 5 weeks from the time of application submission.
Step 3: Work and Travel Authorization
The next step after receiving the biometrics notice will be to receive the approval for work and travel authorization. Work and travel authorization comes in the form of a “combo card,” similar to what an EAD card looks like with the exception that it is also valid for international travel as long as the application for a travel document was submitted along with the work authorization application. This card takes about 6 months to arrive after application submission and is valid for a year and can be renewed in one-year increments while the green card application is pending.
Step 4: Interview
The long-awaited green card marriage interview, which you and your spouse will need to attend, is the next step in this process.
Processing times vary depending on which field office will oversee your interview, which is determined based on where the foreign applicant resides.
In the NYC area, processing times at the present moment are rather long and interviews are taking place approximately 17-20 months from the time of application submission. In some other locations the waiting times are slightly shorter and the interview can take place anywhere from 10 to 18 months from the time of application submission. You will receive a notice with details of your upcoming interview including the date, time and place of your interview approximately 1 month in advance of your actual interview date.
Step 5: Green Card Approval
If all goes well, the next step is the approval of your green card application!
First, you will receive approval notices for both the immigrant petition and adjustment of status application. Then, within a few weeks of receiving these approval notices you will receive your green card in the mail.
Receiving the notices and eventually receiving the green card generally can take about 1 month from the time of the approval of your case.