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What happens after I submit my Green Card application?

Updated: March 5, 2020

Once you’ve mailed your application, it can take 2-3 weeks until the USCIS accepts your application and sends the receipt letters to you.

If you sent the USCIS personal checks, then you can check your bank account to see if those checks have been cashed. If so, then that means that the USCIS has started processing your application and will be mailing Forms I-797C, Notice of Action. 

These letters will include your receipt numbers. The receipt numbers are in the upper left-hand corner, next to the date. When the receipt letters arrive, make sure to add them to your SimpleCitizen account under step 5. With these numbers, we can keep you up to date on the status of your case. Keep in mind this will help you avoid delays and roadblocks. Here are a few next steps in your application process:

Biometrics Exam

1. The first step after getting your Forms I-797C, Notice of Action is the biometrics exam. The USCIS will send you a letter with the time and location of the appointment. Arrive early and bring a copy of your passport and the appointment letter from the USCIS. The USCIS will take your photo and fingerprints as part of the background check for the application process. 

If you are unable to make your biometrics appointment, please call the USCIS asap to get it rescheduled. Missing the biometrics appointment can cause serious delays.

Employment Authorization Document

2. The next step in the application process will be getting your EAD ( Employment Authorization Document) and AP (Advanced Parole/travel authorization) combo card. The USCIS is currently taking 6-8 months to process and approve the combo card. 

USCIS Interview

3. The next step is having your interview scheduled. It can take a long time for the USCIS to get around to finally scheduling your interview. Based on your local USCIS processing and wait times, we estimate your interview to happen about 10 – 20 months after your biometrics.

Request For Evidence (RFE)

If you get a Request for Evidence, please notify SimpleCitizen here.

Typical Green Card Timeline

If your application and interview are approved, you will receive your Green Card in the mail approximately 8 to 14 months after you initially filed.

Here’s a breakdown of the processing times for each step:

Approx. 2 to 3 weeks after filing
You receive your application receipt from the USCIS

If you prepared and submitted your application correctly, the USCIS will typically respond 2 to 3 weeks later with a letter in the mail. This receipt letter is called the Form I-797C, Notice of Action.

Save this letter! You need the receipt number to check your USCIS status.
Have your receipt? Check your status here.

Approx. 3 to 5 weeks after filing
You receive your appointment notice for biometrics

Typically 3 to 5 weeks after filing, you will receive a notice for your biometrics appointment. This will include your appointment date, time, and location. Most of the time, the location will be the closest USCIS office.
Do not miss your appointment!

Approx. 5 to 8 weeks after filing
Go To Your Biometrics Appointment

During your biometrics appointment, the USCIS will check your fingerprints, take your photo, and ask for your signature. This appointment is usually pretty short and lasts approximately 30 minutes.

Bring these items to your biometrics appointment:
* Your Passport or photo identification issued by your country
* Your Driver’s License
* Military Photo Identification (if you have it)
* State issued Photo Identification Card

Approx. 12 to 16 weeks after filing
You receive your EAD Card (if you filed for it)

If you included the form I-765, application for employment authorization, and form I-131, application for travel, in your application, you will receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Also known as a work permit. The EAD and advance parole travel document are both combined into 1 single card.

If you receive this card, it means the USCIS considers you an adjustment of status applicant who may work in the United States and travel outside the United States according to the criteria of advance parole.

Approx. 4 to 10 months after filing
You receive your notice for your USCIS interview

It’s time to prepare for your interview! Don’t worry or be scared, the interview is a normal part of the application process and typically happens at your nearest USCIS office. The USCIS may require your petitioner to attend with you, or they may not. Your interview notice will arrive by mail via the Form I-797, Notice of Action.
Do not miss your interview!

Approx. 6 to 12 months after filing
Go to your USCIS interview!

Adjustment of status interviews usually take around 30 minutes at your nearest USCIS office. It’s a good idea to properly prepare, make sure to bring the following items:
* A complete copy of your entire application.
* Originals of any documents that you sent along with your application.
* Advance parole document and/or employment authorization card (if you have one)
* Your passport

Approx. 8 to 14 months after filing
You receive your Green Card!

Updated on March 5, 2020

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  1. I’m a American Citizen and file for my husband who lives in Nigeria. I am the petitioner. Who has to go to all those interviews, my husband who is a Nigerian citizen and lives in Nigeria or do I have to go, living in the United States

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