How Long Is The Immigration Process to USA?

If you are planning on immigrating to USA then you should be prepared for it to be a long process. Whichever way you are applying to immigrate, there will be a lot of hurdles that you need to jump before you can get a green card.

There are a number of different visa types and the more common ones are fiancée, family and employment visas that a foreign national can apply for to start the immigration process.

Family immigration visas

With a family immigration, for example, the first step is for a family member to file an immigrant visa petition on behalf of their relative. Once this has been done, there still needs to be a medical examination arranged and an interview at the US Embassy.

Processing time can vary depending on how busy the embassy is at that time. It is also important to check on the current situation for the immigration process, as some immigration applications were suspended as part of the approach to tackling the Coronavirus pandemic. This is likely to have a knock-on effect when the suspension is lifted, with a backlog of administration to work through.

In usual circumstances, the immigration process takes six weeks at best but can realistically take months or in some cases, even years to process.

Marriage-based visas

With marriage-based visas, there are lots of factors that will determine how quickly the process will take. It depends on details such as the country of residence of both parties, immigration status and many other factors.

The process is initiated when the US citizen completes a Form I-129F petition and provides the supporting documents that are requested. The USCIS will then process the petition and if approved, the immigrant would then complete a visa application online.

An interview will need to be arranged at the US embassy and if the visa is approved, then the couple must be married within the 90 days limit and the immigrant will then need to apply for the green card. There will then be another interview as part of the green card process, to determine whether the authorities are satisfied that the marriage is proper.

If there are other complications regarding the application, such as medical conditions, any criminal convictions, or problems such as over-staying a limit on a previous visa, then this can hold up the process and can even cause the immigration application to be declined.

The US has very strict immigration rules in place and under Donald Trump, there have been many changes including increasing visa fees, travel restrictions for citizens of certain countries and numerous other changes that affect US immigration. Therefore, it is not possible to provide a specific timescale to expect when you are going through the immigration process, as it can vary from one month to the next.

There is not much that can be done to try and speed up the process, apart from ensuring that all of the relevant documents are ready to be sent when required and that the US embassy interview is scheduled as soon as is possible.









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