How Long Does it Take to Get a Green Card in 2023?
Getting a green card is one of the quickest paths to securing lawful permanent residence in the United States. It’s also one of the most commonly pursued routes to obtaining U.S. citizenship, as green card holders can apply for naturalization after:
- 5 years as a lawful permanent resident (LPR); or
- 3 years for green card holders married to U.S. citizens.
Becoming a green card holder can open the door to new opportunities and other invaluable benefits, such as protection from deportation, the right to attend U.S universities and apply for federal student loans, eligibility for government aid like Medicare, and the freedom to live and work in America on a permanent basis.
Applying for Lawful Permanent Residence in the U.S.
To successfully obtain a green card, petitioners must complete each step of the process and comply with all USCIS guidelines meticulously if they wish to avoid getting denied. There are two primary types of green card applications, including:
- Applying within the U.S. – Immigrants applying for green cards within the U.S. may complete Form I-485 ("Application to Adjust Status"). This typically applies to noncitizens who are already in America with nonimmigrant visas or diversity visas, or those eligible for family-based green cards through a spouse or relative.
- Applying outside the U.S. – For noncitizens petitioning for green cards beyond U.S. borders, petitioners are required to complete Form DS-260 (“Immigrant Visa Electronic Application”). This can be a feasible route for those seeking visas from abroad through the diversity visa program or sponsorship by an employer or family member.
How Much Does it Cost to Apply for a Green Card?
Noncitizens wishing to secure safety and security in the U.S. by obtaining a green card must be willing to pay generously in both time and money. Unfortunately, the costs of applying for an adjustment of immigration status aren't limited to filing fees. Petitioners are also required to pay additional expenses involved in the green card application process, with no guarantee that the process will end in their favor.
In addition to filing fees, green card applicants must cover the following costs, if applicable:
- Green Card Application (Form I-485)
- Family Sponsorship (Form I-130)
- Financial Support (Form I-864)
- State Department Processing
- Biometrics Appointment
- Medical Examination
- U.S. Immigrant Fee
- Vaccination Costs
- Document Fees
- Travel Expenses
- Translation Services
- Mailing/Shipping Costs
For those interested in obtaining a more detailed overview of anticipated green card costs, the USCIS provides a calculator to offer noncitizens a better idea of their financial obligations when applying for lawful permanent residence in the United States.
USCIS Proposes “Huge” Increase in Green Card Costs in 2023
In January 2023, the USCIS proposed dramatic cost increases for almost every type of green card application. While this rule has yet to go into effect, the allotted time for public commentary has ended, leaving many concerned immigrants and their families waiting to learn whether the costs of adjustment of status applications will indeed rise.
If the proposal gets approved, the price of adjustment of status applications could face up to a whopping 130% increase, as the approximate cost of family-based applications would surge from $1,225 to a staggering $2,820.
What Is the Current Wait for a Green Card in 2023?
The estimated processing time to secure a green card can vary based on the type of green card application, the availability of USCIS resources, and other personal circumstances. Below is a categorized overview of the approximate wait time for family-based green cards in 2023:
Relatives of U.S. Citizens
- Spouses of U.S. citizens – 13.5 to 23.5 months
- Minor children (under 21 years old) of U.S. citizens – 1 to 2 years
- Parents of U.S. citizens – 1 to 2 years
- Unmarried adult children of U.S. citizens – 7 to 8 years
- Unmarried adult children of U.S. citizens of the Philippines – 10+ years
- Unmarried adult children of U.S. citizens of Mexico – 20+ years
Relatives of Green Card Holders
- Spouses of green card holders within the U.S. – 13.5 to 23.5 months
- Spouses of green card holders outside the U.S. – 17 to 33 months
- Minor children (under 21 years old) of green card holders – 2 to 3 years
- Unmarried adult children of green card holders – 8 to 9 years
- Unmarried adult children of green card holders of the Philippines – 10+ years
- Unmarried adult children of green card holders of Mexico – 20+ years
Helping Florida Immigrants Live Their American Dream
Our passionate immigration attorneys have a proven track record of successfully representing Florida immigrants and their families. As former prosecutors, our diverse background in immigration and criminal defense law offers our legal team an edge in the courtroom, empowering us to protect your rights and fight to make your American dream a reality.
From assessing grounds of inadmissibility to prepping for USCIS interviews, our firm is committed to prioritizing your unique needs from start to finish. Don’t wait to seize the economic opportunities and security that you and your loved ones deserve. Reach out to Hubbs Law, P.A. to learn how we can collaborate with you to achieve the outcome you desire.
From deportation to green cards, immigration law can be complex. Turn to a firm you can trust to keep your best interests at heart. Call (305) 570-4802 to schedule a consultation.