I am a H-1B visa holder(work visa) and my family holds H4 visa(dependent visa). So, what is the minimum and maximum period to process a green card after applying for it specifically?

  • It depends on which center would be processing your forms. Los Angeles as of today (28 Mar 2016), says last August while Washington DC says last May and a change of status. See this site.
    – mkennedy
    Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 15:34
  • Are you familiar with the concept of "priority date" and is yours current?
    – littleadv
    Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 20:06

1 Answer 1


Between 1 and 15 years

It depends on number of factors:

  • if your employer is paying for premium processing
  • if your application is subject to additional auditing
  • your nationality
  • green card preference class

There are 3 phases

Labor Certification (aka PERM)

  • Preparation by attorneys (including getting papers translated if necessary etc). A couple of months.
  • Recruitment Period (as in your company posts offer to demonstrate that they can't find US resident for the position) — minimum of 90 days
  • Processing by Department of Labor — 6-8 months
  • (if unlucky) Additional DoL audit — 10-12 months

I-140 Immigration Visa Petition

  • Preparation by attorneys — couple of days / weeks
  • USCIS processing queue depending on country of origin and Green Card preference class (EB-2, EB-3 etc).

    • can be checked in Dept. of State's Visa Bulletin
    • as of now:
      • India — 7-11 years
      • China (mainland) — 1-8 years
      • Philippines — up to 6 years
      • all other countries — no wait
  • Processing by USCIS:

    • 4-6 months regular
    • 1-15 days premium

I-485 Adjustment of Status

  • Preparation by attorneys — couple of weeks
  • USCIS decision — 4-8 months
  • EAD: 90 days
  • AP: 90 days (I have no idea if EAD and AP can be filed at same time)

I-140 & I-485 can be filed in parallel

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