Green Card Application Timeline: Living in the U.S. and Married to a U.S. Citizen - GreenCardHero

Green Card Application Timeline: Living in the U.S. and Married to a U.S. Citizen

Note: This timeline is only a rough estimate. The actual dates may vary significantly. You can check the most current processing times, updated monthly, on the USCIS website.

Submit all application materials in one package

The sponsor and applicant submit the following forms, along with supporting documents:

  • Form I-130 – Petition for Alien Relatives
  • Form I-130A – Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiary
  • Form I-485 – Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
  • Form I-864 – Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA
  • Form I-765 – Application for Employment Authorization (optional)
  • Form I-131 – Application for Travel Document (optional)
  • G-1145 – e-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance (optional)

Around 2 Weeks after Filing

USCIS Receipt Notice (Form I-797) Arrives

The receipt notice confirms that USCIS has received your application. It contains a set of case numbers, which you can use to track your case status with the USCIS Case Status Checker.

Around 3 Months after Filing

Biometrics Appointment Notice Arrives for the Applicant

The biometrics services appointment is a quick, low stress procedure where the USCIS takes the applicant’s fingerprints, photograph, and/or signature. This helps USCIS confirm the applicant’s identity and run required background and security checks.1

The appointment will be at a local USCIS Application Support Center (ASC). The applicant’s appointment notice will include the date, time and location for the appointment.2

Around 1-2 weeks after receiving the biometrics appointment notice

The Applicant Goes to the Biometrics Appointment

Attend the scheduled biometrics services appointment. You can learn more about what it’s like on the USCIS website.

Around 5.5 – 7.5 Months after Filing

Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Card Arrives for the Applicant

If the applicant filled out the optional forms for employment and travel authorization (Forms I-765 and I-131), the applicant will receive an approval notice and an EAD card in the mail. With an EAD card, the applicant can work in the U.S. and/or travel outside the U.S. while the application is pending.

Around 7-13 Months after Filing

Interview Notice Arrives for the Sponsor and Applicant

USCIS will schedule an in-person interview and mail an interview notice. Both the applicant and the sponsor need to attend. The interview notice will contain instructions on what supporting documents to bring to the interview.

Around 1-2 Months after Receiving Interview Notice

The Sponsor and Applicant Go to Green Card Interview

The interview is an opportunity for USCIS to verify the information provided in your application, to discover new information, and to determine the credibility of the applicant.3 During the interview, a USCIS officer will ask the applicant a series of questions to confirm that the applicant:

  • Never committed a crime
  • Hasn’t defrauded the U.S. government
  • Hasn’t been deported
  • Has no serious diseases
  • The marriage is real
  • Has financial support

Read our guide on how to prepare and what to expect at the interview.

Around 1-2 Months after Completing Interview

Green Card Arrives in the Mail! 🎉

Congratulations! You have made it!

About GreenCardHero

We are a community of former applicants who successfully went through the hair-pulling, eyeball-popping green card application process ourselves. We believe every couple should have access to quality guidance and file their application with confidence, without costing an arm and a leg in the process. That’s why we created the apps, tools, and guides at GreenCardHero. If you share our vision and want to contribute to the community, drop us a line!

  1. https://www.uscis.gov/forms/forms-information/preparing-your-biometric-services-appointment
  2. https://www.uscis.gov/forms/forms-information/preparing-your-biometric-services-appointment
  3. https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/uscis-to-expand-in-person-interview-requirements-for-certain-permanent-residency-applicants