Assuming one is not a national of China, Mexico, India or Phillippines, what would be the average time for receiving an EB-3 Green Card? The starting point would be the point when the company initiates a PERM certification and the finishing point would be the moment when the physical Green Card arrives to the applicant. Presume full cooperation and support from the company sponsoring the applicant.

Are there any official statistics on this matter?

2 Answers 2


Both USCIS and the Department of Labor publish some statistics on that. It takes a long time.

The PERM certification consists of two bits whose current average processing times are listed here. The prevailing wage determination is first and is currently taking an average of 70 days, while the PERM processing time is taking an average of 156 days if you avoid an audit, so that totals around 7.5 months. Note, however, that this doesn't include the time for 60 day recruitment period, since this could (if you want to live dangerously) be done at the same time as the PWD at the risk of having to do it all over again if the PWD number is unexpectedly high. I also know that these times can be highly variable, so it isn't clear that this is telling you much about your own particular case, but I think people who accomplish this in 7 or 8 months are pretty happy about that and not everyone is happy.

Once PERM is done your employer can file the I-140 petition for you. If you are in the US at the time, want to adjust your status and your visa category is current the I-485 adjustment of status and associated forms can be filed at the same time. Processing times for these can be found here and, for the I-485, can depend on the field office that handles it. If you file them together they may proceed somewhat in parallel (and the I-140 for someone who has already managed PERM is usually uncontroversial), so the I-485 time alone may be the most representative of how long this will take. At the field office closest to my house the I-485 processing time is currently 8.5 to 16 months.

So, all-in-all, you are probably looking at 1.5 to 2 years to get LPR status if all goes reasonably well, plus a month or two more for the card to arrive in the mail. It can easily go longer, though. I have heard that people who want to speed this up will sometimes opt for premium processing of the I-140 (15 days if there are no objections, for $1000 or so extra) followed by consular processing, though stuff can go wrong with that too and if you need to wait out the PERM process anyway a savings of a couple of months isn't going to make a huge difference.

  • From personal experience now that its almost done: 1.5 to 2 years is dead on the spot. Jun 16, 2021 at 21:59

First of all, it's the person's country of birth that matters, not the country of nationality. Each month's visa bulletin shows which priority dates have an available visa number this month for each category and country of birth.

For employment-based categories, the priority date is the date when the labor certification was filed (if a labor certification is required for the category), or the date the petition was filed (if a labor certification is not required for the category). You cannot proceed to the final step (either approval of Adjustment of Status or getting an immigrant visa) until your priority date is before the date for your category and country of birth in the Final Action Date chart. Basically, the chart shows that people who initiated the process that many years ago can proceed to the last step now.

For this month, the chart shows that all countries of birth other than Mainland China, India, and the Philippines are "current" for EB3 -- which means they do not have a wait for visa numbers, and so the process only takes as long as the applications take to process. For people born in Mainland China, India, and the Philippines, you can look at how long ago a date is listed to get an estimate for how long the process takes.

  • "the process only takes as long as the applications take to process" - and how long is that? :) Apr 3, 2018 at 3:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.