Green Card Process

4 STEPS

1. LABOR CERTIFICATION

Employer must demonstrate by advertising that there are no qualified U.S. workers available, and that the wages or working conditions of U.S. workers are not adversely affected.  The employer must be a person, association, firm or corporation that has a location in the US.  The job offered must be full-time and permanent. 

The application is filed online as an electronic automated process was introduced on March 28, 2005.

2. PERMANENT RESIDENCE APPLICATION

The Certification from the Department of Labor is filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services with the following documents:

  • Form I-140 & filing fee of $580
  • Employer’s letter and supporting documentation
  • Evidence of employer’s ability to pay salary
  • The current government processing time for Step 2 is 4 months.

3. WAITING IN LINE

For each type of worker and for each country there is a fixed number of greencards available each year (there is a 'quota' of greencards). If there are not enough greencards there is a waiting line. This waiting time has to be added to the processing time. Waiting can take from one month to 5 years or longer. If there are enough greencards there is no waiting line and you can skip this step.

4. ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS APPLICATION

This is your application for the plastic greencard. Concurrent filing of steps 2 and 4 are allowed (as long as there’s no 'waiting in line'). The following documents are required:

  • Form I-485
  • Medical exam, fingerprints, criminal record checks
  • FBI checks and other required forms/documentation
  • Filing fee of $1070 ($635 minor under the age of 14/derivative and $985 minor under the age of 14/non-derivative)
© Samia Chandraker 2014